Friends of slain Tampa cab driver relieved to hear of arrest

6:59 PM, Dec 11, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- Tampa Police officers have arrested a man and are still looking for two more in connection with the murder of Tampa taxicab driver John Dooley.

Authorities announced the arrest of 19-year-old Devante Bell Tuesday night after detectives found a cell phone number in Dooley's can and traced it to Bell.

They say Bell confessed to setting up the robbery and then wiping down the car after the shooting took place, but that he wasn't the one who pulled the trigger. 

As Bell stood before a judge Wednesday he was told that doesn't matter and, in part, due to his extensive criminal history dating back to the age of just 14, he was ordered to be held without bond.

"Thank you, Jesus. That's the best news I ever heard," said Caroline Robinson when she heard of an arrest in the case.

Robinson, a former colleague, said she was grateful detectives had worked so quickly to find those responsible.

"If they would have asked him, he probably would have gave them the money," she said, calling Dooley, 56, an angel.

"It's hard to realize that he's gone," said Don Daughtry, who was also glad to hear news of an arrest.

Daughtry and Dooley shared a cab for nearly 15 years.

They were like brothers, he said. Dooley would take the night shift.

"The people who rode in his cab knew they were riding with a friend," said Daughtry.

Daughtry said other cab drivers were afraid to service the same area at night, but not Dooley.

"He was a big, kind-hearted man who loved his work," he said.

He loved people and the East Tampa neighborhood where he was so senselessly killed, he continued.

"They lost a friend. And he lost his life," said Daughtry choking back tears.

STORY: Murdered cab driver remembered for going extra mile

Tampa Police are still working leads and looking for the other two men involved.

If you have information that may be helpful, you're asked to contact Tampa police or Crime-stoppers at (800) 873-TIPS. A $3,000 reward was being offered for information leading to their arrest.

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