Taxi Driver Wounded In East Garfield Park Shooting, Robbery Attempt

CHICAGO (CBS) — A taxi driver was shot in the East Garfield Park neighborhood while trying to pick up a fare who apparently tried to rob him early Wednesday.

Police said the 58-year-old man was shot in the chest around 1 a.m., near Avers Avenue and Huron Street.

Paramedics picked him up a few blocks away, at Chicago and St. Louis avenues, and took him to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized.

The man’s sons said his name is Talal Kurdieh. They said he picked up a passenger early Wednesday in East Garfield Park, an area he is not used to working in, and the passenger shot him in the chest while trying to rob him.

“He just broke his fast, practicing Ramadan, and I guess he was just trying to make some money. Obviously, it’s his occupation, and I guess he got a pick-up. Instead of the guy coming into the car, actually he said it was a strong-arm robbery and he tried to kill my father,” Abed Kurdieh said.

He said, because of competition from Uber and Lyft, cab drivers like his father can’t afford to turn down any calls for pick-ups.

“You get a pick-up, no matter what or where, you can’t reject it no more. You don’t get as many calls. You just want to make sure you get that money and get out,” he said.

The victim’s sons said he has been a cab driver for more than 30 years, and has never encountered anything like this. They said he is doing well, and called them from the hospital himself to tell them what happened.

The Kurdiehs said they are thankful the bullet did not hit any vital organs. They said their father is in good spirits at the hospital, and they just want to catch the person who shot him.

Flashcab said they are aware of the incident. The company does have surveillance cameras in some of its cabs, but Kurdieh’s vehicle had only a shield dividing the front seat from the rear seat.

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