Police are searching for a man who stabbed a 27-year-old Uber driver to death in his own car on Saturday night.
The victim, Ganiou Gandonou, was found dead at around 9 p.m on the Hutchinson River Parkway in Co-Op City with stab wounds to his neck and torso, authorities said. A man believed to be the perpetrator was seen walking north on Co-Op City Boulevard, wearing dark clothing, according to police
Gandonou was on-duty at the time of his death, though it remains unclear whether the suspect was a passenger in his car. Police are investigating whether the driver was robbed prior to the fatal stabbing.
WANTED for a Homicide that occurred on 03/02/19 @ 9:08 PM infront of 4160 Hutchinson River Parkway East #theBronx @NYPD45Pct 👀Have you seen him? Do you know him? ☎️ Call 800-577-TIPS or DM us! 📞 are ANONYMOUS! 💰YOU CAN RECIVE UP TO $2500 REWARD! #YourCityYourCall @ABC7NY pic.twitter.com/ZXq8y3Kao8
— NYPD Crime Stoppers (@NYPDTips) March 4, 2019
Gandonou’s wife, Latifatou Alimi, told News 12 that her husband got his for-hire vehicle license in 2017 after the family emigrated from Africa. He left for work at 7 p.m. on Saturday, she said, and did not answer his phone later in the evening.
“I don’t know how my life’s going to be without him,” she told the station, while holding their 2-year-old son. “He had no issues with nobody.”
In a statement, the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers said: “This was a savage attack on a young man who was trying to earn a living, it takes an animal, someone with no type of remorse to brutally stab someone to death simply to rob him.”
As the Times points out, professional drivers in New York City have long faced the possibility of violence while on the job. The situation became especially dire in the 1990s, prompting the industry to declare an “all-out emergency” after dozens of drivers were killed on the job in the span of a year.
Those fears were reignited in 2014, when two Bronx livery drivers were murdered in a single month. Two years ago, a livery driver was killed after he was struck in the head by a hockey stick during an argument—though charges in that case were later dropped.
The Independent Driver’s Guild offered a $3,000 reward for anyone with information about the killer. A spokesperson for Uber called Gandonou’s death a “horribly tragic incident,” adding that the company was working with the NYPD on the investigation.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM, on Twitter @NYPDTips or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.