BOSTON (CBS) — A taxi driver was shot dead late Tuesday morning in Boston’s Back Bay close to the Prudential Center.
Police said it happened just before 11 a.m. at Huntington Avenue and West Newton Street, near the Colonnade Hotel. The victim between 30 and 40 years old was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at a Boston hospital, Police Commissioner William Gross said.
Witness Kara Deyermenjian shared a photo with WBZ-TV of police putting someone in handcuffs at the scene. She said she saw officers running up Huntington Avenue with guns drawn outside Star Market.
Officers arrested 34-year-old Phillip Foy of Pawtucket, RI. He is expected to be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court Wednesday on charges of murder, armed carjacking and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Police say the suspect was trying to steal the victim’s taxi, before he shot him and took off in the cab.
Family members identify the victim as Luckinson Oruma. “Hard working man. He worked hard. Took care of his family,” his son Jeffrey Oruma said.
The victim’s children say he was originally from Nigeria and he worked six days a week to put his five kids through college.
“I just hope and wish he didn’t suffer, that my father didn’t suffer,” his son Princewill Oruma said. “Trying to shop for a good gift for my father for Father’s Day, but at this point I’ll be shopping for funeral homes.”
Eddie Summers manages Independent Taxi where Luckinson Oruma worked. “Friendly guy, always friendly, never ever had a problem with him ever,” Summers said.
Police thanked witnesses who reported seeing the suspect flee the scene in the taxi. “We had Good Samaritans that engaged in heroic behavior, got the police involved,” Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said.
“They do have somebody which obviously is not going to bring him back but at least they got the person that caused this mess,” Summers said.
SkyEye video showed a heavy police presence by the hotel, with crime tape blocking off part of Huntington Avenue around the Prudential T Station entrance.
On Ring Road, police could be seen examining what appeared to be a gun outside of the taxi cab with its door open. WBZ-TV’s Chief Investigative Reporter Cheryl Fiandaca reported that police have recovered a gun in connection with the fatal shooting.
“This is something that we don’t see in Boston every day, a daylight shooting,” Mayor Marty Walsh said.
Witnesses described a chaotic scene.
“I heard “pop pop pop pop pop!” It was like six pops,” a construction worker told WBZ-TV. “So everybody started running. And I hid behind my machine because I didn’t know where the shooter was.”
Ken Smith said he works nearby.
“I have never seen anything like that. In broad daylight. And this is a really good area, too!” he said, adding that people were “running for the doors. “It was scary. My heart was pounding. Because at that point you don’t know what’s going on. You don’t know if it’s a one person thing or if they’re just randomly shooting anybody.”
Police described the investigation as active and are asking witnesses to come forward with any information.