Two cab drivers were shot, one fatally, within 12 hours yesterday and Friday after picking up fares at the same location, Prince George's County police reported.
Police said Eugene J. Banks, 18, of 610 Morgan St. NW and Raymond White, 24, of 336 V St. NW were charged early yesterday in the shootings.
According to police, cab driver Flora L. Washington picked two men up at the intersection of Georgia and Florida avenues NW at about noon Friday. They said Robert A. McNeil picked up fares at the same location just after midnight yesterday.
Police found the body of Washington, 41, of 617 Clovis Ave., Capitol Heights, behind Landover warehouse Friday afternoon. They said she had been shot to death.
About 1 a.m. yesterday Officer Ivan Lanier was on routine patrol on Rte. 1 in Hyattsville when he noticed a car weaving toward him.
"I was just heading back from an incident in College Park when I saw this car door swing open all of a sudden," Lanier said. "When it did the inside light went on and I could see three men in the car. The one in the front passener seat seemed to be trying to get out. The driver was holding the wheel with one hand and reaching with the other for the passenger.
"I made a U-turn and followed them until they pulled into a parking lot and stopped. Then the driver came running over and said he needed an ambulance, his partner had been shot. The man in the back seat fled."
Lanier found McNeil, 37, of 1390 Nicholson St. NW, a part-time cab-driver who works in the Government Printing Office, in the passenger seat shot in the head. He had apparently tried to escape by opening the door before losing consciousness.
McNeil was taken to Prince George's General Hospital in critical condition and remained in a coma yesterday. The driver, then considered a witness was taken to the homicide division in Forestville for questioning after giving Lanier a description of the man who had run from the cab.
About one hour later, after being spotted by Officer Harold Tucker, Banks was trapped by canine handler John E. Luskey and his dog Duke in the 5500 block of 44th Avenue in Hyattsville.
After investigating the logs of the two drivers, police found that Washington had picked two men up at about noon and McNeil had done the same just after midnight.
Washington's cab was found yesterday in an alley at the rear of 732 Park Rd. NW. White, the driver first thought to be a witness was charged after extensive questioning. He and Banks were both charged with murder, assault with intent to commit murder and two counts of armed robbery after they made statements to homicide and robbery squad detectives.
Sources said yesterday that D.C. homicide detectives, who are investigating three other murders involving cab drivers, are expected to question Banks and White.
Both cab drivers worked for the Imperial Cab Co., an independent firm that supplies driver with licenses and permits for their cabs. The cabs are owned by the drivers who work their own hours. Many, like McNeil, work part-time.
Banks and White are being held at the county detention center in Upper Marlboro without bond.