BY MICHAEL LANSU
Homicide Watch Chicago Editor
A parolee admitted that he “f–— up” when he fatally shot a 51-year-old cab driver Thursday night in the North Lawndale community, prosecutors said.
Chicago Carriage Cab driver Chinedu Madu picked up Tyrese Bell and drove him to the 1200 block of South Albany Avenue, where Bell pulled out a handgun and shot Madu in the back of the head about 8:40 p.m. Thursday, authorities said.
Police initially described the attack as a robbery.
After being shot, Madu crashed into a parked vehicle and Bell got into the front seat, took the cab’s camera and fled, said Assistant State’s Attorney Enrique Abraham.
Madu, of the 500 block of East 33rd Place, was declared dead at Mount Sinai Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
A police camera captured Bell, 24, fleeing the cab and entering the gate of a nearby building, Abraham said.
Once inside the building, Bell put a .380 semi-automatic handgun next to a woman and asked her to keep the gun, Abraham said. Authorities did not identify the woman or her relationship to Bell.
The woman took the gun and the two walked to a bus stop, Abraham said. During the walk, Bell told the woman he “f–— up” and asked the woman to deny seeing him that day, prosecutors said.
Responding officers followed footprints in the snow from the cab to the building where Bell gave the woman the gun, according to Abraham, who said multiple witnesses identified Bell.
The woman allowed the officers to search the home and police recovered the gun, which was loaded with four 9 mm bullets and one .380 bullet, Abraham said. Two bullets recovered from Madu’s body and two shell casings found in the cab matched that police recovered, prosecutors said.
Police arrested Bell and took him to Area Central, where he attacked three detectives, Abraham said.
Bell allegedly bit one detective on the right hand, another suffered a scratch to his left finger and a third suffered an undisclosed injury to the right hand, Abraham said. The alleged attack on the detectives was captured on video.
Bell, of the 1200 block of South Albany Avenue, was charged with first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated battery to a peace officer, authorities said. The woman who took the gun has not been charged.
Bell is currently on parole for a 2014 conviction for possession of a controlled substance, according to court records. He was convinced for the same charge in 2010, 2012 and 2013. He was also convicted on separate charges of robbery and possession of a stolen vehicle in 2008.
Bell has been married for three years and has two children, according to his lawyer. He currently works at the Rock N Roll McDonald’s and is attempting to obtain his G.E.D.
On Monday, Judge James Brown ordered Bell held without bond and issued a next court date of Jan. 30.
Scene where Chinedu Madu was shot / Video from NVP
After learning of Madu’s death, Chicago Carriage Cab issued the following statement on Friday:
Edward Sheinin, COO of Chicago Carriage Cab, said today that the killing last night of one of Carriage’s drivers, Chinedu Lambert, 51, is a tragedy. We extend our prayers and condolences to his wife, Vivian and young son. Mr. Madu has been a driver with Chicago Carriage Cab for many years and had a reputation as an outstanding and conscientious driver. Along with his many friends here at Chicago Carriage Cab, we hope that whoever was responsible for his murder will be apprehended quickly. As the investigation continues, Chicago Carriage Cab will assist the Chicago Police Department in any way that it can. Again, our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends and they remain in our prayers.
The United Taxidrivers Community Council also issued a statement Friday focusing on the dangers of driving a cab.
“Perhaps this tragic event can lead to improvements in the security of cab drivers,” the statement said.
The United Taxidrivers Community Council said it is working with the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection to address security concerns.
The group will be launching a fundraising campaign for Madu’s family, according to their statement.
The last cab driver killed on the job happened in March 2013 when 48-year-old Edwin Obazuaye was robbed then shot to death by two men he picked up in the 0 to 100 block of West 91st Street, authorities said.