Livery driver shot after drop-off at Club Purlieu in Astoria, Queens

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Lucy Yang has the story.

A livery driver was shot in the head while picking up passengers in Astoria early Friday.

"He's not in good shape at all," said Fernando Mateo, the head of the Federation of Taxi Drivers.

Mateo laid out the grim reality after visiting 37-year-old Roberto Castillo.

He is fighting for his life at Elmhurst Hospital after being shot in the head.

Doctors were able to remove the bullet from the livery cab driver's head, but the Bronx man is still unable to breathe on his own.

Police say it happened around 5 a.m. when the married father of two young girls picked up four passengers from the Bronx and dropped them off at Club Purlieu in Astoria.

They entered the club, quickly got into an argument with someone inside, and then jumped back into Castillo's SUV as someone followed them out and fired multiple shots at them.

Castillo managed to drive two blocks before crashing into several cars and eventually into a utility pole near 35th Street and 37th Avenue.

CeFaan Kim obtained exclusive surveillance video of the crash.

Police say Castillo was operating without a livery license.

"He's been working about a month for this particular car service. We just need to speak to the car service and understand why if he is not licensed, why he was dispatched from there," Mateo said.

Residents say violence breaks out at Club Purlieu on any given night.

Video showed a scuffle Friday morning, moments after gunfire erupted.

Hip hop star Trey Songz was the main event on that night.

Almost exactly a year ago, three people were slashed at the club during a 3 a.m. brawl.

Houston-based rapper Chedda Da Connect was performing that night. Three people were arrested.

Neighbors say it's time to shut this club down.

"Last night I counted eight separate fights out there. You see on the video there were 14 cars just sitting there, horns blowing, 3 in the morning, people trying to sleep," said Randy Gunzer, a resident.

The four passengers who hired the SUV were not injured and are being interviewed by detectives at the 114 Precinct.

No arrests have been made.

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queens newsshootingcar crashAstoria
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