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Police: Robbery was motive in taxi driver's death

TAMPA — Police say robbery was the motive in the shooting death of a cab driver Sunday night.

It is the third robbery in Tampa from the weekend that ended in a shooting, including one other that was fatal. Police didn't have any information Monday night on whether the incidents are connected, said Tampa police spokeswoman Janelle McGregor.

In the cab driver murder, John M. Dooley, 56, was found dead inside his taxi late Sunday night on N 18th Street, near Busch Boulevard in Tampa.

According to police, someone found Dooley slumped over in the cab's driver's seat about 8 p.m. near Eskimo Avenue and N 18th Street.

Police say the suspects are two men who called for a cab about 7:45 p.m. Sunday from an undisclosed location. While the men were in the cab on their way to another location, they shot Dooley and fled the scene, police said. The suspects' final destination was unclear.

After a 911 call, officers arrived and set up a perimeter in the surrounding neighborhoods. Police determined there were two suspects through witness interviews. They are pursuing several leads and also searched the area with dogs and by air, but no arrests had been made as of Monday night.

Two other robberies occurred in the city Saturday night.

In the first, two men were shot at 706 W Amelia Ave. about 9 p.m. The victims were approached by two men who demanded their belongings, police said. The victims refused and were shot in their lower bodies. The suspects drove away in an unidentified vehicle.

About an hour later, a construction worker staying at the Extended Stay America Hotel on W Spruce Street was shot and killed during a robbery as he ran for safety.

Agustin Osorio-Pacheco, 41, of Winter Gardens was sitting on the tailgate of a pickup with a co-worker, Nicolas Bravos, 33, when a robber stepped out of a gray Ford F-150 pickup truck and demanded their money, police said. Osorio-Pacheco ran across the parking lot toward the hotel. The robber ran after him and shot him near the hotel entrance, police said.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $3,000 for anonymous tips that lead to an arrest in the shooting death of Dooley, the cab driver. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477.

Times staff writer Dan Sullivan and Times news researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Police: Robbery was motive in taxi driver's death 12/09/13 [Last modified: Monday, December 9, 2013 10:59pm]
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