A cabbie finishing work for the night was shot and killed and, days later, officers got into a late-morning shootout with a suspect in New York City, police said.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 14, Andres Valenzuela, 62, was just completing his six-hour shift with Empress City Taxi when he was shot in New Rochelle, a town about 20 miles north of New York City, WNBC reported.
A police officer on patrol found Valenzuela in a parking lot shortly before 3 a.m. The victim was rushed to the hospital suffering two gunshot wounds and was later pronounced dead, WCBS reported.
According to WNBC, out-of-town officers from the New Rochelle Police Department were near downtown Brooklyn hunting for Valenzuela’s killer when they got into a gunfight with the suspect, identified as Percell Ross, around 11 a.m. Oct. 18. Nobody was injured in the shootout and officers were able to apprehend the man.
“I can confirm that New Rochelle police did locate through investigation the suspect wanted in the October 14 homicide of a cab driver,” New Rochelle Police Captain J. Collins Coyne said.
Police believe robbery could be a possible motive for the attack, according to WCBS.
Valenzuela was originally from Mexico and drove cabs for 20 years before he was murdered, including 10 with Empress City Taxi. “All the drivers are feeling bad,” a worker with the company, Marcos Pazos, told WCBS. “Shocking. It’s a surprise. New Rochelle usually is a quiet city.”
“He’s a really good guy. I would just, like, see him. He always, we used to work the night shift and he was just a good guy,” neighbor J.P. Morfin told the station. “He always would just say hi to everybody. He was just a good guy in general.”
The victim’s daughter said he leaves behind a wife and three kids.