MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Police are searching for the two men responsible for an armed robbery that left a taxi driver shot Sunday.READ MORE: Heat Alert: Miami Beats Boston 109-103 For 2-1 Series Lead
Surveillance cameras were rolling just after 4:30 a.m. at the Caraf Oil Gas Station located at 2810 NW 12th Avenue when the attack happened.
Video shows the taxi driver, 40-year-old Jose Pena-Baez, go inside the gas station and upon returning to his vehicle, get ambushed from behind by a man with a gun.
Other angles show the crook, just moments earlier, get dropped off by a car a down the street and then slowly stalk the cab driver as he crept up from behind.
A momentary struggle ensued in the driver’s seat before the suspect eventually got the driver’s money, fired his gun and ran.
“I see a black dude running to the taxi driver and then I saw them fighting. When I saw them fighting, I swung around (in my car) to try to help the driver but when I got close to the taxi, I heard one shot,” said another cab driver who didn’t want his identity revealed. “So when I hear the gunshot, I just kept on going because I saw a white car in front, parked suspiciously, so there might’ve been more people armed.”
As a fellow cab driver himself, he said he knows all too well how dangerous the job can sometimes be.
“Unfortunately, that’s how this job is. The bad guys think we carry a lot of money and we don’t carry a lot,” he continued. “I just thank God. It could’ve been me.”
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Pena-Baez was struck in the leg but was able to hop on his good leg inside the gas station to call for help.
He was immediately transported to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital to undergo emergency surgery, listed in serious but stable condition.
His sister, Vanessa Pena, fought back tears as the family waited for him to come out of surgery.
“I can’t understand how people can do that because he’s a very nice person,” said Vanessa.
Known as a hard-working man, Pena-Baez was working on his 40th birthday Sunday to provide for his three children.
“He is a very sweet, kind and loving person. Out of all the uncles that I have, he is my favorite,” said his nephew Ruben Pena.
Authorities are now searching for two black men in their 20’s driving an older model white Nissan, possibly a Maxima, that was seen fleeing from the scene.
They offered a suggestion to the crooks, confident of their inevitable arrest.
“Turn yourselves in because we have good witnesses and obviously good video,” said Miami Police’s Kenia Fallat.MORE NEWS: Report: South Florida Counties Have High COVID Levels, Despite CDC Numbers
Anyone with information is urged to contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS. There’s a cash reward for information leading to their arrest.