Lamon Weathers, of the 2000-block of West Arthur Avenue, was charged with first-degree murder. He is due in bond court Friday.
Police received a call around 7:50 a.m. Monday about a man slumped over the wheel of a cab in the 4400-block of North Leavitt Street behind the Lincoln Square Branch of the Chicago Public Library. They found 59-year-old Kamil Shamji had been shot in the head.
Investigators said Shamji was shot during an armed robbery. Friends of the victim said he had about $200 in cash on him when he was killed.
Police said Shamji picked up his last fare late Sunday night at a McDonald's in the 6700-block of North Clark Street and brought the passenger to Lincoln Square. Investigators said the cab stopped when Shamji told the suspect the fare. He was shot within seconds.
"The video is fairly shocking. The driver turns, and obviously tells him what the fare is. He begins to pull out money and the driver turns his head back. He put the money back, pulls the gun out and shoots him, like instantaneously," CPD Commander Kevin Duffin said.
Investigators said the suspect tried to dismantle a camera mounted in the cab after the shooting and left a pack of cigarettes in the back seat. Evidence technicians helped police recover the video from the taxi, which recorded the crime. Police said surveillance video from the McDonald's also showed the suspect.
Investigators identified Weathers as the suspect using both pieces of video and a fingerprint found on the cigarettes. Weathers allegedly stole Shamji's cash and cell phone.
The CPD's Gang Intelligence Unit helped investigators track the cell phone to the Joliet area. Weathers was seen trying to board a Metra train and wastaken into custody. Officers found a gun on him. Investigators said it was the same gun used to kill Shamji.
Police said Weathers' criminal history includes property damage and traffic violations, but no violent offenses.
Shamji, a father of two from Pakistan, worked as a taxi driver for 35 years. He worked for Flash Cab for the last two decades.
Flash Cab issued a statement on the arrest, saying, "We are grateful for all the work that went into this arrest. It's incredibly sad for the community, but it does not bring Kamil back."
Many of Samji's friends and coworkers plan to attend his memorial service Saturday.
"He's a peaceful guy, he's an honest guy, his heart is very clean, you know. And, I what I say, he was a very nice person," says Amir Ladha, one of Samji's oldest friends. "I miss him. I miss my friend."