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NYC taxi driver killed by passengers attempting to rob him, police say. They’re offering a reward to find the suspects

<i>WABC</i><br/>A New York City taxi driver was killed while chasing after passengers who attempted to rob him.
A New York City taxi driver was killed while chasing after passengers who attempted to rob him.

By Artemis Moshtaghian and Kiely Westhoff, CNN

A New York City taxi driver was killed while chasing after passengers who attempted to rob him in Queens on Saturday, according to the New York City Police Department.

Separate organizations are offering a combined $18,500 in rewards for any information leading to the convictions of the suspects in the death of Kutin Gyimah, 52.

Gyimah had completed a trip in a yellow cab minivan in the Rockaway Beach area around 6:30 a.m. Saturday when his passengers allegedly tried to rob him after they arrived at their destination, police said.

The cabdriver attempted to chase the passengers down and was struck by at least one of them, which caused Gyimah to fall and hit his head on the ground and lose consciousness, police said.

When police officers responded to a call of an assault in progress, they found Gyimah lying in the roadway with trauma to the back of his head, police said. Gyimah was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“I have no words to describe him,” the victim’s widow Abby Gyimah told CNN affiliate WABC at a press conference Sunday. “He was a good man. He was a good, good man.”

The investigation is still ongoing and no arrests had been made as of Saturday afternoon, according to police.

Fernando Mateo, a spokesperson for the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, also spoke at Sunday’s news conference.

“Probably was the first fare of his day. It was probably the first person that he picked up and guess what—it was the last person that he picked up,” Mateo said. “Because his life was taken away. For what? For money?”

The Federation of Taxi Drivers is offering a $15,000 reward leading to the conviction of the suspects, Mateo told CNN.

So far, Mateo said the federation has raised $10,000 in addition to the over $69,000 raised on the verified GoFundMe page created to help Gyimah’s family with funeral and living expenses.

“It was a horrible crime,” Mateo told CNN Sunday. “We lost an amazing man.”

Mateo said he hopes to raise enough money to create a college scholarship fund for the victim’s four children, who he says are ages 3, 5, 7, and 8.

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell encouraged people to submit tips to help arrest the perpetrators of the “senseless” attack in a tweet on Saturday.

“As his loved ones mourn, Kutin is in the thoughts of the NYPD detectives who are working hard to apprehend those responsible,” Sewell said.

NYPD CrimeStoppers is also offering a reward, according to police. CrimeStoppers offers up to $3,500 for information leading to an arrest and indictment.

In a statement, City Hall said the tragedy is “not only devastating, but unacceptable.”

“Violence will not be tolerated in our city, which is why we’re working every day to get violent criminals off our streets. We extend our deepest condolences to the victim’s family, friends, and coworkers during this painful time and we will work diligently to bring all people responsible to justice,” the statement said.

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