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Police searching for suspect in shooting of cab driver in Astoria

By Madina Toure

A livery cab driver is in critical condition after a suspect shot at his car, which also had four passengers, outside an Astoria club last week.

The driver, a 37-year-old man, picked up two men and two women in the Bronx and dropped them off at Club Purlieu at 36-04 34th St. in Astoria at about 4:51 a.m. March 4, according to a police spokesman.

The passengers went into the club, then came out after a big fight in the club spilled outside and jumped into the car, the spokesman said.

Another individual came out of the club and starting shooting at the car, a black SUV, the spokesman said.

The driver started driving away, with the passengers still in the vehicle, and ended up hitting parked cars, the spokesman continued.

When police officers responded to the scene, the car was on 35th Street and 37th Avenue and the driver was found with a gunshot wound to his head, the official said.

He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition, the spokesman said.

The passengers were stable, not having been injured, but remained at the scene and spoke with police officers,the spokesman added.

It is unclear whether the passengers were involved in the dispute at the club and whether the passengers asked the cab driver to wait for them or if he happened to still be there, he said.

The official said no weapons were recovered from the scene, he said.

The motive and the identity of the shooter was not yet known and the investigation was ongoing, the spokesman said.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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