WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Mourners at the funeral of a taxi driver killed in Adams Morgan last month are calling for new efforts to keep drivers safe on D.C. streets.
Cab drivers, friends and family of slain driver Solomon James Okoroh began arriving at a Landover, Md. funeral home at about 9:00 Saturday morning, focusing not on the horrific way he died, but instead on the way he led his family, his church and pursued the American dream.
"Loving family, a wife and five children," said Classic Cab owner Evelyn Ruiz emphasizing Okoroh's focus in life.
Many at the funeral wore traditional clothing from Nigeria, the land where Okorah was born. He served as a soldier at age 14, later immigrating to America.
On June 4, police placards marked evidence in the 2400 block of Ontario off Kalorama Road NW.
Okoroh's cab crashed into a parking meter shortly after he was shot with what would be a fatal wound behind the wheel.
Two men were arrested nearby after a gunfight with police.
Prior to the murder, undercover WUSA9 reports documented some D.C. taxi drivers stranding black passengers in favor of white passengers.
As mourners dressed in white carried out Solomon Okoroh's casket Saturday, many remembered him for his routine of picking everyone, regardless of race .
"It's just the way it is," said Pastor Yomi Ademuwagun. "Unfortunately, good people, like Solomon who don't care, who go out of their way to pick up anybody, they pay the price."
Watching the procession leave towards the cemetery, cab drivers expressed hope that Okoroh's death would bring new attention to the risks they face on the street. Some want new security like divider glass or cameras.
"We want the government to make it possible to assist cab drivers to have some kind of safety protection and make it as a policy," said former cab driver and family friend Paul Alozie.
Cab drivers say many assaults and robberies go unreported and D.C. officials say they don't specifically track reported crimes committed against drivers.
The owner of Classic Cab, Evelyn Ruiz, said it is too early in the discussion to know the solution, but emphasized it is past time to begin looking for answers.
"It's not for him anymore, but for us in the cab industry," Ruiz said.
Ruiz said Okoroh leaves a legacy of respect that he showed to all people. She said he would have wanted that respect extended by all to D.C. passengers of all colors and to the drivers of D.C. cabs.