Father of four is shot, dies seven hours later

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By Maria Clark

A livery cab driver was shot in the torso Sunday at 1:40 p.m. in front of Our Lady of Angels Church on Sedgwick Avenue.

Cesar Santos, 48, a married father of four children, died seven hours later at St. Barnabas Hospital.

Police are now looking for two men suspected of shooting Mr. Santos. A surveillance camera in his car captured a clear image of one of the suspects, a young Hispanic man wearing a white tank top and shorts at the time of the incident. The other suspect is not clearly visible, but appeared to wearing a Yankees hat.

After allegedly firing the gun, the two men jumped out of the car, a late-model Toyota Camry, and took off running. Surveillance cameras in nearby buildings caught the two men as they ran, according to police.

Not realizing how badly wounded he was at the time, Mr. Santos chased after the men until he began to weaken. Eventually he had to stop, police said.

The bullet that hit Mr. Santos tore his liver apart. The motive for the shooting is still unclear, police said. Mr. Santos was not robbed and by all indications he was just an innocent victim, police said.

“This was the most sinister murder so far this year,” a police source said.

It marks the fourth homicide in the 50th Precinct this year. The three other homicides all involved people who knew each other.

The small pocket encompassed by Sedgwick Avenue, Webb Avenue, and Kingsbridge Road is a hotspot for robberies and assaults and accounts for 17 percent of the crime in the precinct, according to police.

Robberies are also up — by 30 percent throughout the precinct — according to crime stats.

“We have never merited an Impact Zone, but there is enough going on there that we can make a difference,” Capt. Brandon Del Pozo said at a community meeting held at Our Lady of Angels. Impact Zones are areas specially targeted by police because of high crime rates.

In response to the number of criminal incidents, the Five-O has added more foot patrols in the area over the past five months.

“Every other cop has to have some presence in the area,” he said.

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