Taxi driver, father of 10, shot to death in apparent robbery in Rahway, New Jersey

RAHWAY, N.J. (WABC) -- A taxi driver and father of 10 was fatally shot on a quiet Rahway street, the victim of an apparent armed robbery.

The driver, Imad Alasmar, 57, of Edison, was shot on Bedford Street in the 1400 block just after 11 p.m. Tuesday, where he had gone to pick up a called-in fare.

Instead a gunman jumped into his cab, demanding money. One possible motive is that Alasmar refused to give up his money. He only had about $100 on him at the time.

Immediately following the shooting, Alasmar's vehicle collided with a parked car, injuring a man and a women, who were both taken to a local hospital for treatment, according to the Union County Prosecutor's Office.

Rahway Police Department patrol units were called to the scene and found Alasmar.

The driver was shot in the head and pronounced dead at the scene. No arrests were immediately made, but the suspect is believed to be injured after struggling with the victim. The suspect fled on foot and a gun was recovered at the scene.

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of a suspect.

The driver worked for Station Cab, a cab company at the Rahway train station. The owner said another driver was robbed last week.

An autopsy of the victim was scheduled to take place Wednesday.

"Someone's first impression of my dad would be that he's strict, aggravated by something, but if you really get to know him, he had a heart, you know" said the victim's son, Imad Alasmar.

He could barely speak outside the family's home, where his mother was crying inside over the killing of her husband.

Alasmar's manager at Station Cab Company says the cars have no partition and no camera. But he says he knows Alasmar was too strong-willed to have given in to the suspect.

"We certainly don't ever tell them to resist, and a lot of times they just have to use their common sense," said company manager Jim Maye. "And unfortunately some of these guys are pretty strong-willed, and no matter what you tell them, they're going to do what they want to do and that was the case last night. Obviously in hindsight he'd wish he'd given the guy the money."

The cab driver's co-workers, his friends, remembered him as kind and honest. "It's not fair what happened, so many guys out there trying to earn a living, feed his kids, large family," said co-worker Lou Caporaso. "It's not an easy way to earn a dollar. He's out there hustling."

The shooting remains under investigation by the Union County prosecutor. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 908-347-8491 or 908-447-3777. The Union County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case.
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