Arrest made in cabbie's murder

December 28, 2007 3:24:38 PM PST
Police have made an arrest in the callous Christmas killing of a local taxi cab driver. 19-year-old Ramir Steve faces murder charges. Police say he killed 42-year-old Gregory Cunningham early Christmas eve.

Around 2:00 Monday morning, Cunningham was dispatched to pick up a fare at a house in the 7400 block of Rogers Avenue. The house is vacant and sits directly across the street from Steve's home.

Upper Darby police believe Steve called for a cab and rode to an apartment complex, where a planned robbery went wrong.

"This was a robbery of the cab driver. It had been premeditated. The cab driver was assassinated, shot once in the back of the head," said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.

The 19-year-old, who allegedly bragged he wore gloves so not to leave fingerprints, apparently panicked, taking no money.

"The cabdriver had $700 in his pocket, but after he shot the cabdriver, I guess, he panicked and that's when he jumped in the cab and took off, and took the cabdriver's cell phone. He had a big hit of $700, but then after he killed him, he bolted," Chitwood said.

Steve allegedly bolted in the cab. At the time, police say the taxi dispatcher tried to radio Cunningham about a fare on Terrace Avenue.

"Ramir Steve, after he killed this guy, got on the radio and said back to the communications system, 'He ain't going to make it to Terrace, because I shot him and he's dead," Chitwood said.

Police found Cunningham's abandoned cab at Sellers and Keystone. Later, Cunningham's body was found outside an apartment complex.

Authorities say Steve's brother provided information in the case. They also recovered a gun at Steve's home in Upper Darby.

Steve was arrested in Philadelphia on Thursday and arraigned on Friday. He is being held without bail.