WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A second cab driver working for Classic Cab Company has been killed in less than three months.
Winston-Salem police say they were called to the 700 block of Barbara Jane Avenue around 10:15 Monday night for an “unknown trouble” call. When they got there, they found 48-year-old Curtis Lee McCollum unresponsive in the roadway near his cab. Investigators say it appeared McCollum had been shot more than once. Patrol officers tried to save his life, but McCollum was pronounced dead at the scene.
“My heart started racing because I knew it was the same thing all over again,” said Barry Abdul, owner of Classic Cab Company.
On March 8, 2018, another driver for Classic Cab – 49-year-old Richard Dorman Webb – was found dead inside his cab, near the intersection of Tower and Peachtree streets.
Authorities arrested 25-year-old Calvin Lee Moore Jr. for murder in connection to Webb’s death.
Winston-Salem police do not believe the two murders are connected.
“My understanding, I don’t know all the details yet, so probably there was somebody walking up to him, and saw a cab, thinking, ‘Cash, there’s money in that cab, in that cab driver,’ and went and ended up taking his life,” Abdul said, of McCullom’s murder.
Officers were seen canvassing the area of Barbara Jane Avenue Tuesday morning.
“I seen him so often I just figured maybe he lived down that way,” said Lamont Crawford, who lives in the neighborhood. “That is kind of shocking to me. It makes me want to be a little more careful as to when I come out my door.”
Abdul tells FOX8 that McCollum was homeless, so he was living out of his cab, where he often slept on Barbara Jane Avenue.
“I raced there, there was a police barricade and everything else,” Abdul said, of the minutes after one of his dispatchers called to tell him police were asking for McCollum’s next of kin.
Abdul says McCollum had been with the company since 2010.
“I’ve known him close to 20 years, great guy to work with,” he said. “Always minds his business, goes and does his work and go home.”
Abdul adds that his whole staff is “shaken,” and taking extra precautions to protect themselves.
“This is our livelihood, we take it seriously,” he said. “We do our best to serve the community and in return this is what we get.”
This is the 11th homicide in Winston-Salem this year, compared to eight homicides in the same time frame in 2017.
“We definitely need to get these guys off the streets, because if it’s not a cab driver, it’s gonna be somebody else,” Abdul said.
The Winston-Salem Police Department is asking anyone with information concerning this crime to call (336) 773-7700 or Crime Stoppers at (336) 727-2800, En Español (336) 728-3904.