Cab Driver Killed in La Jolla Was Hard Worker: Friends

Witnesses said they heard shouting and gunfire after the cab driver pulled over on La Jolla Scenic Drive

The cab driver shot and killed in La Jolla Wednesday was remembered by fellow cab drivers as a hard worker.

A 68-year-old self-employed cab driver was found in the 6800 block of La Jolla Scenic Drive after 11:30 p.m, dead of several gunshot wounds according to San Diego homicide investigators.

Witnesses told police they saw a green and white taxi pulled over on the side of the road, heard an argument and then gunfire.

The cab then drove off heading northbound on La Jolla Scenic Drive North police said. The empty taxi was found around 2:20 a.m. Thursday parked on Coast Boulevard near the Children's Pool.

Police have not released the name of the victim but fellow cab driver Sal Nasery said he was a hard worker who would read or write while waiting for fares at the airport.

“It happened in the nicest part of San Diego, La Jolla. It’s very strange,” Nasery said.

The airport is usually a safe area to pick up passengers he said but cab drivers in San Diego are always on guard.

They never know who they are picking up. They cannot ask questions about who they are picking up and can’t discriminate against passengers or refuse fares because how a customer may look.

“The job is dangerous. We’re all constantly in danger of being robbed,” Nasery said. “We have to watch out for ourselves.”

The cabbie still had his wallet on him when officers arrived. They have not released his identity pending family notification.

How many people were involved is still unclear. Investigators have not released a suspect description.

Cab driver Ali Jillal wants San Diego police to be more vigilant to help protect cab drivers working on city streets.

“Now, we are asking ourselves ‘Who is next?’ Our friend is gone. We don’t know who is going to be next now,” Jillal said.

Police have asked that anyone with information about this case call the Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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