Cabdrivers mourn comrade killed by stray bullet

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Friends and Cab Drivers pay honor and respect to fallen Cab Driver Luis Carlos Cordoba Sunday evening at the Walter Sojka Funeral Home. Cordoba was killed while waiting for a fare at 19Th Avenue and St. Charles Road in Maywood, illinois. when someone opened fire and struck the cab driver in the head. People’s Cabs drive by the funeral home in procession honking horns in honor of the fallen cab driver. Sun~Times Scott Stewart

More than 100 taxis drivers, all honking their horns, arrived at a funeral Sunday night in West Town to support a fellow cabbie who was killed by a stray bullet last week.

Luis Carlos Cordoba, 56, was picking up a customer in Maywood a week ago when a bullet shattered his window, striking him in the head. A 68-year-old woman standing nearby at a bus stop was shot in the back, but survived. Police are still searching for the shooter.

Cordoba’s taxi – a minivan with a bullet hole in the driver’s side door – was parked in front of Walter Sojka Funeral Home Sunday evening.

“He always drove with a Bible on the seat next to him,” said Marilyn Herman, a colleague at People’s Cab Co. “Every day was a happy day for him.”

Cordoba, of Melrose Park and a native of Colombia, loved soccer and listening to Carlos Santana, according to co-workers.

“He ended most of his sentences with ‘Bless you,’ said Luz Ciupeiu, a close friend. “He became a citizen in January and was very proud to be an American.”

Cordoba, who emigrated 17 years ago, saw firsthand the drug-related violence of his home town of Medellin, Colombia, and cherished the relative safety of living in the United States, Ciupeiu said.

Family members in Colombia Skyped with mourners at the funeral. But relatives had not told Cordoba’s parents, who are in ill health, of his death.

People’s Cab owner David Scott, who described his company as a family, posted a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter.

People’s also retired his cab number: 359. Cordorba had worked for the cab company for eight years.

“ ‘The code taxi drivers use to tell the dispatcher they are on duty is ‘10-8′ and ‘10-7′ means you’re finished with your shift . . . . (Cordoba) is ‘10-7′ here, but hopefully he’s ‘10-8′ in heaven,” Scott said.

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