Man charged in murder of cab driver in North Lawndale

SHARE Man charged in murder of cab driver in North Lawndale

A West Side man on probation for a drug-related conviction is accused of fatally shooting a cab driver in North Lawndale last week, police announced Sunday.

Tyrese Bell, who turned 24 Sunday, is facing one count of first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated battery to a peace officer, according to a statement from Chicago Police. The circumstances around the battery charges were not known.

The shooting happened about 8:45 p.m. Jan. 8 in the 1200 block of South Albany — the same block in which Bell lives, police said.

Chicago Carriage Cab driver Chinedu Madu, 51, was driving when Bell allegedly shot him in the chest during a robbery, authorities said.

Madu, of the 500 block of East 33rd Place, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he later died, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

Bell is scheduled to appear in bond court Sunday.

Bell was sentenced to 18 months in prison in October 2014 for possession of a controlled substance, court records show. He was credited with 280 days for time served at Cook County Jail and was ordered mandatory supervision for a year.

He was convicted of the same drug charge in 2010, 2011 and 2012, court records show. In 2008, he was sentenced to four years in prison for robbery.

Chicago Carriage Cab, which is based on the South Side, has more than 100 drivers, said dispatcher Stephanie Jackson.

“When I got in, I saw a memo that we had a driver involved in a murder incident,” Jackson said. “It’s terrible.”

Chicago Carriage Cab issued a statement Friday calling Madu’s death “a tragedy.”

“We extend our prayers and condolences to his wife, Vivian, and young son,” the statement read. “Mr. Madu has been a driver with Chicago Carriage Cab for many years and had a reputation as an outstanding and conscientious driver. Along with his many friends here at Chicago Carriage Cab, we hope that whoever was responsible for his murder will be apprehended quickly.”

The United Taxidrivers Community Council also issued a statement Friday focusing on the dangers of driving a cab.

“Perhaps this tragic event can lead to improvements in the security of cab drivers,” the statement said.

The council said it is working with the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection to address how security cameras in cabs are surveyed.

The group will be launching a fundraising campaign for Madu’s family, the statement said.

The last cab driver killed on the job happened in March 2013 when 48-year-old Edwin Obazuaye was robbed then shot to death by two men he picked up in the 0 to 100 block of West 91st Street, authorities said.

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