Police: Livery driver found dead in car, shot in head on Long Island

WYANDANCH, Long Island (WABC) -- Police in Suffolk County are searching for a killer after a livery driver was shot in the driver's seat of a commercial town car Wednesday.

The victim, identified as Hugh James, of Deer Park, was found on Lake Drive in Wyandanch around 4:30 p.m. after people reported hearing a crash.

The driver apparently careened into a small cement wall lining a curb, and neighbors jumped into action.

"It took me a long time to stop crying," area resident Ruthie Simpson said. "I couldn't get over it. It's going to be difficult to get that image out of my head."

Simpson lives across the street, and she said she called police while hoping no one was seriously injured. But when she looked inside the vehicle, she saw the driver sprawled out across both front seats, bleeding heavily from a head wound.

James had no pulse, and police later revealed he had been shot in the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"I just pray that whoever did this, you know, they catch him," Simpson said. "And I hope that his family gets some closure, some justice, because whatever happened, it was wrong."

Authorities say James was a freelance livery driver not associated with a company or an app.

Homicide Squad detectives are investigating. It's still not clear where he was shot, as residents only heard the crash and not any gunshots.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on this incident to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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