JERSEY CITY- Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy and Police Department officials announced the arrest of the man believed responsible for the point-blank shooting of a cab driver in the early morning hours in a Greenville neighborhood.
The police manhunt for the gunman responsible for the Monday morning shooting of Yellow taxi driver Maged F. Rizkallah ended Thursday afternoon unexpectedly when the lead suspect in the case, James A. Purcell, 21, walked into the West Precinct on Communipaw Avenue and questioned why police were looking for him, officials said. “While we pray for the recovery of Mr. Rizkallah, I must commend the police department for their thorough investigation and speedy arrest in this case that was equally disturbing as it was challenging for investigators,” said Mayor Healy.
The Major case Squad of the JCPD handled the case from its inception, picking up at the crime scene where the cabbie was shot in the back of the head, causing his cab to crash into two parked cars near the intersection of Gates and Princeton avenues shortly after 1 a.m. on Monday, July 9.
Witnesses spotted a man climbing out of the rear window of the vehicle before fleeing the scene. Using witness information and video obtained from security cameras at the taxi stand located in Journal Square where Purcell apparently boarded the victim’s cab, police were able to develop about 10 solid leads. “We were able to put together about 10 persons of interest by descriptions and then we narrowed that down to Mr. Purcell,” said Capt. Mike Kelly, Commander in the Detective Bureau.
“We let it known on the streets and to his family members that we were looking for him and there he is walking into the precinct.” (continued) (2) Purcell walked into the West District about 1:30 pm Thursday, curious as to why he’d been sought. Since Purcell has no fixed address, Capt. Kelly said an operation to strike at residences between Newark and Jersey City was in the planning stages when he showed up. After questioning by Major Case Squad detectives, it was determined that Purcell planned to jump out of the cab and flee once he arrived at the Princeton avenue location. However, once at that location, Purcell and the driver argued, and Purcell fired a handgun in his possession at least twice, officials said. He was then spotted climbing out the back windows since the doors were locked and powered by the driver’s controls, officials said. Purcell is also charged with weapons offense and endangering an injured person.//