By Al Novack, Dray Clark, Oren Liebermann
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Homicide detectives are investigating the shooting death of a cab driver in West Philadelphia at around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. Police have no one in custody.
The incident happened near Cobbs Creek Parkway and Walnut Street when a man waved down an All-City cab. When the cabbie stopped, police say the man pulled out a gun and announced a robbery. The cab driver, identified as 33-year-old Hafiz Sarfaraz of Upper Darby, attempted to speed away but the gunman sprayed the cab with gunfire.
At least one of the bullets struck the cabbie who lost control of his taxi and came to rest against the side of a house. The would-be robber fled and remains at large.
Police say the Sarfaraz was pronounced dead at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
“It is just terrible. Everybody is in shock, lot of people cannot believe it has happened,” says the victim’s cousin Usman Tariq.
Friends and fellow cabdrivers have been coming by Sarfaraz’s house to console his family.
Tariq says the victim had been in the hospital earlier in the evening celebrating the birth of his niece.
All-City Taxi has put up a $3,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.
Meanwhile Sarfaraz’s friends, many of whom also drive cabs, are facing going back to work in a job that killed a fellow driver.
“A lot of cabdrivers don’t like to work at nighttime, but there’s no opportunity to get business because a lot of cabdrivers are working on the day shift,” says Mohammad Khan.
Fellow drivers say there are cameras in the cabs for safety but they are not working yet.
Investigators are reviewing surveillance video for leads.
The incident remains under investigation.