New York police say a man is dead after committing suicide Sunday while in the back of a taxi.
The unidentified male reportedly died after shooting himself in the head after hailing the yellow cab on 51st Street in Midtown at approximately 2:30 a.m., the New York Post reports. He requested that the cab driver, Manzu Mazi, take him to 108th Street and Columbus Avenue in Manhattan.
Officials say he killed himself 15 blocks short of the destination.
“The guy didn’t say anything. All of a sudden, [the driver] hears a gunshot, turns around and sees the guy bleeding in the back seat,” a law enforcement source told the New York Post.
Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, spoke to the newspaper regarding the impact of the devastating incident on the driver.
“He’s pretty shook up. And was just really sad for the man and his family,’’ Desai said.
While authorities have yet to identify the victim pending notification of next of kin, they did reveal he was 30 years old and residing in the Bronx borough of New York City prior to his death.
Officials said Mazi immediately pulled over and dialed 911 in a state of shock after the passenger shot himself. Medics rushed him to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Desai noted that the driver’s vehicle was lacking a bulletproof partition—adding that the suicidal man could’ve easily turned the gun on him.
“The police told [Mazi] he was really lucky, and was given a second chance,” Desai told the New York Post.
“This is such a tragedy and our heart goes out to the family and friends.”
Further, Desai spoke of the troubles that people in the city face, and urges those hurting to seek help.
“Drivers bear witness every day to the struggles of fellow New Yorkers. We know first-hand as a community that things can reach a breaking point, but there is support out there, and sometimes change is just around the corner.”