Police continue to search for 2 suspects in Tampa cab driver shooting

TAMPA - Homicide detectives have made an arrest in the murder of a Tampa cab driver.

Deveante Bell, 19, is charged with the death of Yellow Cab driver John Dooley. Dooley, 56, was found in his cab in the driveway of an abandoned house at Eskimo and 18th Street near Rowlett Park around 7:45 Sunday evening.

At least one witness told police they saw someone running from the cab and they called 911.

Tampa Police say two men got in the car when they called for a ride to another part of town and shot the driver to death as soon as they got in the car.

"The cab driver was under the assumption that he was picking up two customers, when in reality he was picking up his final fare," said Janelle McGregor with Tampa police.

During the investigation, detectives discovered that a third suspect was possibly involved in the fatal shooting of Dooley.

Bell is charged with first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery.

Judge Walter Heinrich gave some insight on how police were able to track him down during Bell's first court appearance.

"Your cell phone that you had in your possession was used to call the cab driver," Judge Heinrich said.

That cell led them to a squat duplex-building near Hillsborough and 15th St. in Tampa.

Neihgbor Ruth Napier says police swarmed the building and were asking questions about the 19 year-old man she knew as 'Buddy.'

"He don't look like the type to do something like that really. He's such a good boy, tall and young and nice looking," Napier said.

The only thing police removed from the house she said, appeared to be an ash tray.

Yellow Cab owner Louis Minardi was John Dooley's manager and personal friend for nearly 32 years.

Minardi says many fellow cab drivers have asked him about funeral arrangement Dooley's family may have made to pay their respects.

Minardi says when he spoke to his family, they were absolutely heartbroken.

"Apparently, I'm not sure they're going to have a funeral service for him, the mother is so distraught, they don't think she can really handle it," Minardi said.

Deputies continue to hunt for two additional suspects.

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $3,000 for anonymous tips from the public that lead to an arrest.

Anyone with information about the crime or suspects is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at 247-8200.  Anyone with information regarding the identity and whereabouts of the suspects and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), report anonymously online at www.crimestopperstb.com or text "CSTB plus your tip" to C-R-I-M-E-S (274637).

Print this article Back to Top