HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Police say three men that were detained in the shooting of a Yellow Cab driver in have been released by police.
On Monday afternoon, authorities say a gunman opened fire on a taxicab driver in the Kroger parking lot on Montrose at Lovett. The cab driver, identified as Michael Ubani, was rushed to Ben Taub Hospital. On Tuesday, the victim died from his injuries.
The bullet holes in the driver’s side window of the Yellow Cab clearly tell us something bad happened, but they only tell part of the story. Houston police investigators have been on the scene for hours trying to find evidence that will reveal the rest.
We arrived to chaos, a Yellow Cab van with a window shattered by bullets. One man was in handcuffs in the Montrose Kroger parking lot. Another was in the back of a Houston Police Department vehicle and area residents? They couldn’t believe a cab driver had just been shot at 1:00 in the afternoon, in broad daylight.
"I heard 'bam, bam, bam.' About eight kids ran over to that side. This is a troubled spot,” says Houstonian Hwang Johnson.
Covenant House for homeless youngsters is a block away from the scene. In fact, a young man named Eric, who spoke with FOX 26'S Damali Keith while handcuffed and detained by HPD, says he used to live at Covenant House. He also says he was standing about 10 feet from the taxicab just before the shots, giving a pep talk to a group of kids who currently live in the home.
"'Use this resource wisely, don’t be messing up this area, because it’s a beautiful area.' As soon as I’m saying this, I’m hearing shots,” says Eric. So he ran.
Eric says he returned to get his car, was questioned by police and put in the back of the patrol vehicle.
He also says he has known the cab driver for some time.
"That’s Mike. Mike is cool. He’s going to go out of his way to help you," he said.
At the point when Eric spoke with FOX 26, he had not been arrested or charged. A Covenant House representative says they do not believe any of their youngsters were involved in the shooting,
HPD says there were reports of a black male who they believe to be is Jiterion Kegler, 19, driving away from the shooting in a black sedan. As for the cab driver, one witness says it appeared he had been shot in the stomach. He says he saw the driver stand up when paramedics arrived and they laid him on the stretcher and rushed him to the hospital.
Yellow Cab has released the following statement:
“We are all heartbroken to learn of the passing of Michael earlier this morning. We will miss his warm heart and charitable attitude towards others. As a 19 year veteran independent taxi driver in Houston, he will always be remembered as a friendly cab driver that worked hard to provide for his family. Yellow Cab is thankful for the efforts of the Houston Police Department and is hopeful that they will have the suspect in custody soon.”
Kegler is currently charged with aggravated assault with serious bodily injury. He is not in custody at this time.
Anyone with information on Kegler's whereabouts is urged to contact the HPD Major Assaults & Family Violence Division at 713-308-8800 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.