NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Colleagues and family members of a livery cab driver gathered in the Bronx Sunday afternoon, hoping that a livery cab driver would survive after being shot in the back in the Bronx.

As WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reported, the shooting happened at 3:35 a.m. Monday at 604 E. 137th St., near Cypress Avenue, in the Bronx, police said. Family members identified the livery driver as Marcos Manuel Villegas.

WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reports

Livery Drivers Union spokesman Fernando Mateo said the shooting shows the dangers of illegal street hails.

“When you try to pick a street hail in the street, you never know who you’re picking up,” Mateo said. “You never know what intentions they have.”

Villegas was trying to solicit a fare from a large group at the time, according to police. He got into an argument with someone, and ended up being shot in the leg, police said.

“When you’re in a group and you just shoot a man, you’re a plain coward,” Mateo said.

Mateo said there may not be any surveillance video from the car, because the suspects never got in the vehicle. Instead, his message to the shooter was, “just go and surrender; turn yourself in.”

Mateo urged all livery drivers in the Bronx to avoid picking up street hails.

Family members and co-workers gathered Sunday at the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center at 149th Street and Park Avenue in the South Bronx, to express hope that Villegas would survive the shooting and that the assailant would be found,

“We expect to find the person who shot Villegas. The camera in his cab should have the images and NYPD detectives should be able to track the person down”, Fernando Mateo, spokesman for the Taxi Federation, said in a news release.

Villegas, 33, has been driving a livery cab for 10 years, and has worked for the American Car Service for the past two, according to the release.

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