A veteran taxi driverwas found shot to deathinside his cab Monday morning in the Lincoln Square neighborhood on the North Side.
Kamil Shamji, 59,was found unresponsivewith a gunshot wound to the head just before 8 a.m. inside a vehicle in the 4400 block of North Leavitt, just behind the Sulzer Regional Library, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Police issued an alert Tuesday night saying Shamji was killed “in an apparent armed robbery by an unknown offender(s).”
An autopsy found he died of a gunshot wound to the head, according to the medical examiner’s office.Area North detectives are conducting a homicide investigation. Shamji lived in the 9500 block of Kildare in Skokie.
“Kamil Shamji’s murder last night reminds us all of the almost constant danger cab drivers put themselves in everyday when they go to work. Serving every corner of Chicago, their visibility allows them to serve residents and visitors, but at the same time, it makes for easy targets,” according to a statement posted on the Cab Drivers United website.
Shamji had been a cab driver for 35 years, the last 20 for Flash Cab. The union demanded the city address the violence against cab drivers.
“A simple preventative measure such as silent alarm linked to GPS, that would dispatch the nearest CPD squad car, would give Chicago’s cab drivers the backup they need should they be placed in a dangerous situation with a potentially violent passenger.”
The driver’s last fare was someone who had ordered the taxi earlier in the morning, according to a statement from United Taxidrivers Community Council spokesman Peter Enger.
A photo of his last passenger should be available because taxis are equipped with cameras, Enger said. Although the photo has not been released, the council hoped images would be made public so other taxi drivers could avoid the possible shooter.