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Taxi driver killed only metres from his home in Fitzroy

Melbourne, April 21: A taxi driver, believed to be of African origin, was killed just metres from his home.

The 31-year-old, whose identity has not been revealed, had finished his work-shift at 11.30pm and parked his car in Fitzroy and was walking south down Napier Street to his home.

Detective Inspector Mick Hughes said, “shortly after that he’s brutally assaulted and subsequently dies”.

The “spontaneous” attack occurred around the corner of the police station.

The possible assault details were revealed when two people sitting in the nearby Condell Reserve, heard the dying man’s cry for help.

They saw a young man, about 183cm tall with a slim build and light shoulder-length hair running through the reserve carrying a satchel, Detective Inspector Hughes said and asked for the man to come forward.

“There is no suggestion he’s involved, but he’s certainly in the location at the time of the murder,” he said.

The victim suffered upper body injuries. Inspector Hughes said it is likely the attack was random.

“It may be just a spontaneous attack… seen this gentleman get out of his taxi, probably at the end of his shift and may be working on the assumption that he’s carrying a large amount of cash,” Inspector Hughes  said.

“The unfortunate part is most taxi drivers nowadays don’t.”

Police also revealed that the victim lived with his parents and shared shifts for the taxi with his father.

“It’s just a tragedy for this family,” Inspector Hughes said.

It was excruciating for the father who had gone looking for his son, when the son had not arrived home for an hour of his regular arrival time – and then reached the cordoned off area.

“He got to a stage when he got concerned and came looking for him,” Inspector Hughes said.

Police are reviewing number of CCTV cameras operating in the area.

The Victorian Taxi Association (VTA) said it was “shocked”.

“We send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the driver,” a statement by VTA said.

Contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 / visit www.crimestopppersvic.com.au if you have information.

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