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News Release

Wednesday, November 24, 1999

Media Relations

Cab Driver Killed During Robbery

Wednesday, November 24, 1999

On Tuesday, November 23, 1999, at approximately 11:40 p.m., Hollywood Patrol officers responded to a call of shots fired in the 5800 block of Camerford Avenue. Upon arrival, the officers discovered a male cab driver who had sustained a gunshot wound.

The victim was transported to Cedars-Sinai Hospital by a Los Angeles Fire Department Rescue Ambulance. He subsequently expired from his wounds.

The victim has been identified as Jose Reyes Benitez, 26 years of age, a resident of Los Angeles.

The motive for this incident appears to be robbery. Witnesses have indicated that possibly three male suspects fled from the cab following the shooting.

One possible suspect has been arrested at this time. He has been identified as Michael Timothy Parker, 33 years of age, a resident of Los Angeles. Witnesses and additional evidence have placed Mr. Parker in the cab at the time of the incident.

Detectives are actively seeking the outstanding suspects and additional witnesses. One witness in particular is considered crucial to this case. He is described as a male white, approximately 35 years of age, with wavy hair and wearing glasses. He was in a mid-to-full size, dark vehicle. Detectives have been informed that this person may have been stopped directly behind the cab at the time of the incident. It is entirely possible that this person did not realize the seriousness of the crime he witnessed. Anyone having information regarding this crime is asked to contact the Los Angeles Police Department, Hollywood Homicide Unit, at 213-485-6410, or after hours, Detective Headquarters Division at 213-485-2504.

Hollywood Homicide Detectives Lloyd Parry and Vicki Bynum are handling the investigation.

For Release 10:40 am PST
November 24, 1999