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Bell family call for shooter to surrender as cabbie clings to life

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

Police suspect Shawn Peace, 22, as the man responsible for shooting Bell seven times and robbing him of $100.

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

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

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

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

Bell was the sole income earner for the family, and used the 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.

Updated 6:14 pm, October 10, 2011
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