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Shooter, come in: Family

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The family of Trevor Bell, the livery cab driver shot multiple times by his passenger in South Ozone Park Dec. 4, held a news conference at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center last Thursday at which they called for the shooter to turn himself in.

Police have identified Shawn Peace, a 22-year old black male, as the man they believe is responsible for shooting Bell seven times and robbing him of $100. But as of Tuesday, authorities were still searching for him.

“He can run, but he won’t be able to hide,” said Trevor Bell Jr., the victim’s son, who was joined by three of Bell’s cousins in the same building where his father was in critical condition.

“This is a real tragedy,” Trevor Bell said, adding that his father was responsive. “So far he knows that everybody is there, he responds.”

The bullet that struck Bell’s neck broke several of his vertebrae, his son said, and he is currently on a breathing tube and cannot speak. It was not known if any nerve damage was sustained.

Bell was shot at around 8:30 p.m. in a dead end street near the corner of 122nd Street and Sutter Avenue.

He is the sole income earner for the family and used his job as a livery car driver to help his son and daughter through school. His cousin, Pauline Walker, said the family will persevere.

“We are family and we have to stick together,” she said. “Everybody will do their part.”

Earlier in the week, Fernando Mateo, spokesman for the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, urged his drivers to use racial profiling to protect themselves from potentially harmful customers, a statement he stood by on Thursday.

“I stand by it 100 percent,” he said. “It may be painful to some, it’s painful to me, but to cure a problem you have to recognize the problem.”

Several members of Bell’s family agreed with Mateo.

“We’re all killing each other,” said Bell’s cousin, Christopher Cole. “Black killing black, Hispanic killing Hispanic — it’s ridiculous.”

Cole added that he wanted the shooter apprehended before another crime is committed.

“He’ll probably go rob somebody or kill somebody else,” he said.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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