A Nigerian man Chinedu Madu, was shot to death Thursday inside the Chicago Carriage Taxi he leased from the company. Madu a cab driver for many years died at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Police in Chicago believe the man who shot and killed him was a customer he had picked up downtown and just dropped off and then disappeared on foot somewhere into the neighborhood.
Police have arrested the suspect with charges pending against the man. They say he has five drug convictions on his record.
It’s unclear if the robber got away with anything. Less than $100 was left behind in the cab, along with Chinedu’s phone and backpack.
Madu leaves behind a wife and a young son.
According to Vivian Madu, his wife, she and her husband were both born in Nigeria. He moved to Chicago 15 years ago and worked as a cabbie for the last 10 years. The two knew each other from Nigeria and were married seven years ago.
Chinedu was in the habit and stowing his earnings in the backpack, his wife said.
"I always tell him, you have to drop your money at home, or put it in the bank and leave the backpack at home," she said as she sat in her apartment with her son, also named Chinedu.
Madu said she is a pharmacy student at Chicago State University and Chinedu was the breadwinner of the family.
Chinedu leased a cab from Chicago Carriage and drove it up to 12 hours a day during the week, slightly shorter hours during the weekends when he'd work nights and come back early in the morning. During the week, he’d end his days at 7 p.m. or 9 p.m.
On Thursday evening, Chinedu got a call from work saying his cab was ready to pick up after undergoing an inspection. Madu said she suggested he stay home because it was snowing and pick up the cab on Friday.
But Chinedu called a friend to drive him to his cab. She thought he was going to just pick up the cab and come home, but he apparently decided to pick up some customers.
An hour after he called her husband, Madu was told by the cab company that the driver of her husband's cab had been shot and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.
“I had to go there," she said in a thick Nigerian accent. "That was it.
“He loved music. He loved to watch movies and play with his boy,” Madu said. "He was a good man, a caring person. A caring father. Very jovial. Very friendly."
Records show that the man taken into custody has been convicted at least five times since 2009.
The last cab driver killed on the job happened in March 2013 when 48-year-old Edwin Obazuaye, another Nigerian was robbed then shot to death by two men he picked up in the 0 to 100 block of West 91st Street, authorities said.