Cabbie's murder outrages fellow taxi drivers

Sheicho Delbar
Sheicho Delbar

New Orleans, La. - At American Taxi on North Claiborne, reality is setting in for cabbies who lost one of their own to murder.

"This is my good friend. Anytime you saw him, he'd try to tell you something to make you laugh," says fellow cabbie Jodise Joseph.

Sheicho Delbar was gunned down in his cab around 1:00 Thursday morning. After being shot, Delbar crashed his cab into a tree in the 900 block of North Johnson St.

Delbar, an Ethiopian national, was the father of two young children.

"This guy is very smart. He's a hard worker. He comes here every winter for six months and then goes home for six months to spend time with his wife and two babies," says fellow cabbie Abed Bader.

Fellow cabbies say Delbar dropped off his fare at the Hyatt and told them he was heading home, but was killed just blocks from his house.

"All this with a camera in his cab. If the cameras work good, that's all the proof right there," says Bader.

Surveillance cameras are part of the new equipment required by the city to be placed in cabs, along with panic buttons.  Cab drivers, though, believe the new technology isn't doing much to protect them from dangerous situations.

"If somebody got killed with a camera on the cab, what's the purpose of this expensive equipment?  It doesn't make sense," says cabbie Jean Baptiste.

If a panic button is pressed, cabbies say a signal is sent back to dispatch. It's unclear if Delbar had a chance to press his button.

The city says Delbar had been driving his cab in New Orleans for the past two and half years.