Relatives: 'Thank God' taxi driver survived shooting | News
Tampa, FL -- Tampa police are still searching for the gunman who brazenly shot a taxi driver in the 100 block of Chestnut Street at around 3 a.m. Tuesday, even after the cabbie handed over his money.
The driver has been identified as 42-year-old Annuel Delicieux. Relatives say Delicieux has been driving a cab for several years.
They say he works long hours to scrape together enough money to support his wife and their three daughters, ages 9, 2, and a newborn.
"We thank God that he's alive," said Steven Delicieux. Steven says his uncle was alert and speaking when he visited him in the hospital Tuesday morning.
A gunman robbed and then shot Annuel as he went to drop off a passenger. Investigators say he did as he was asked; as he was staring down the barrel of a shotgun, he threw his cash out the window, but the suspect fired anyways.
Wounded, Delicieux managed to drive a few hundred feet before literally running into a Tampa police cruiser patrolling the same neighborhood.
Delicieux was rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital, where he was stabilized.
His fellow cab drivers say they can't help but sympathize. They think about similar things happening to them... especially on overnight shifts.
In fact, because of the shooting, some say they're now considering changing their hours.
Carlos Giraldo, who's been driving a cab for three years, says he's considering daylight-only hours, "'Cause I don't want to put myself at risk for dollars."
Investigators say Delicieux's passenger -- who was trapped in the back seat -- watched in horror as the whole thing unfolded. The robbery. The shooting. The crash. He does not appear to have been involved, they say.
"We don't have any indication of that. However, we are working every possible lead, every possible angle in this investigation," said Tampa Police Officer Mercedes Machado.
Delicieux's relatives, meanwhile, say they're just grateful he wasn't killed.
"Bad things sometimes happen to good people," said his nephew Steven, "We're not crying 'Why? Why? Why did this happen?' We're just happy he's alive."
Cab drivers, who are taking up a collection for their colleague say Tampa is usually considered a safe spot for their profession. In fact, some who've been driving a cab for several years say they can't remember the last time one of their co-workers was attacked.
The suspect, who fled on foot, was still on the loose late Tuesday afternoon. Anyone who has any information about the case is asked to call Tampa Police.