Odessa Shooting Suspect Worked as Cab Driver - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Odessa Shooting Suspect Worked as Cab Driver

ODESSA, TX (KWES) -

The search continues for Khalifah Ibn Muhammad, 29, the suspect in a deadly shooting Wednesday around 10:45 p.m. at Acacia Park Apartments on Oakwood Drive.

The victim has been identified as Brandon Lee Russell, 24, Odessa Police said. He was found sprawled on the ground near apartment units 16 and 17 with multiple gunshot wounds and later pronounced dead at Medical Center Hospital.

Russell worked at West Texas Auto Recovery and may have been assigned to repossess a vehicle driven by Muhammad, friends said.

"We don't have any reason to believe [Muhammad and Russell] knew each other," said Odessa Police spokesman Cpl. Steve LeSueur. "This was a gruesome and unnecessary crime."

Muhammad worked as a cab driver for Metro Taxi in Midland, according to a friend who requested anonymity. 

He described the suspected shooter as "quiet and friendly," and said Muhammad appeared to be "very religious" and often prayed behind the wheel of his taxi.

"How he committed this vicious crime, I have no idea," he told NewsWest 9. "I was shocked when I heard. I just froze. I was paralyzed."

Metro Taxi representatives could not be reached for comment. 

Sara Bustilloz, a spokesperson for the city of Midland, confirmed Muhammad's employment as a local cab driver but was unable to discuss details pertaining to his criminal record.

He likely fled the Acacia Park Apartments shooting in his cab, according to investigators at the scene, and later switched vehicles or continued his escape on foot.

Police searched for the possibly abandoned cab on Thursday at multiple locations, including S. Midland Drive, but were unable to locate the vehicle.

"He could really be anywhere," said LeSueur. "We urge anyone to use caution if approached by him because he is considered to be armed and dangerous."

Anybody with information is urged to contact Odessa CrimeStoppers at (432) 333-TIPS.

Muhammad is described as a black male, approximately 5'11" in height and weighing 165 pounds. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt and blue jeans, police said.

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