A taxicab driver was shot and killed yesterday in Southeast Washington, where he was found lying in the street next to his taxi, D.C. police said.
The driver was shot six times about 4 p.m. in the 1200 block of Pleasant Street, Lt. Patricia Williams said. The man, identified as Larry Barnes, 73, was pronounced dead about 4:40 p.m. at D.C. General Hospital.
Police said two men who they believe are the shooters fled the scene on foot. Robbery may have been the motive, police said.
Two officers spotted the cabdriver while they were patrolling the residential area off busy Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Williams said. She said the officers saw the driver just as a radio dispatcher was alerting officers that witnesses had reported a man lying on the street next to a black Globe Cab Co. taxi.
About a block away, at Mama Cole's Carry-Out, owner Evangeline Cole said she and several other neighbors didn't hear gunfire, as they have in past shootings.
"When police got here, we were like, 'What's going on?' " Cole said. "That was really strange that no shots were heard."
Yesterday's shooting was the second serious incident involving a D.C. taxicab driver in four months.
In August, John Olukayode Phillips, of New Carrollton, was critically wounded and paralyzed after being shot once in the head during an apparent robbery attempt, police said. Phillips was shot at 44th and P streets NW, just off Foxhall Road and less than a quarter-mile from the Georgetown University campus.
George Crawford, interim chairman of the D.C. taxicab commission, said the group is considering creating a satellite tracking system that would enable officials to locate cabs and would allow drivers to send distress signals. Already, all drivers in the city must take a course that includes safety tips.
"It's part of the job," Crawford said of the possibility of violence. "We try to tell our drivers to be careful and to protect themselves at all times."
Staff writers Emily Wax and Allan Lengel contributed to this report.