Cabbie shot on Avenue Z - Good Samaritan tried to intervene during robbery

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A beloved cabbie was left clinging to life after a near-fatal run-in with a crew of trigger-happy gunmen.

By Tuesday afternoon, 24-year-old Zalmai Anwari, a resident of East 29th Street, was still in extremely critical condition after one of the two suspects opened fire at him, striking him in the head.

Witnesses said that Anwari, a native of Afghanistan, was at the base of the R & B Car Service on Avenue Z near Coney Island Avenue when he heard a commotion coming from the T-Mobile store around the corner at 3:50 p.m. Monday.

He went inside, only to find himself face-to-face with the two thieves, described only as black males between 18 and 25 years old, in the middle of their hold up.

The suspects fired once and ran off to an awaiting gold-colored car as Anwari dropped to the floor.

Horrified witnesses flagged down a passing Midwood Ambulance Service rig, which rushed him to Coney Island Hospital.

As of this writing, doctors had listed Anwari, the father of a newborn, in extremely grave condition.

Workers at the Atlantic Wireless Center, 1009 Avenue Z, said that the suspects came in just minutes earlier.

The thieves then pulled a gun on the worker inside and were grabbing up cell phones when Anwari intervened.

Police sources said that the thieves fled the store with just one phone, which was worth about $100.

Anwari’s co-workers and friends told reporters that the young man was working at the car service so he could send money across the seas back to his family.

He spent what little free time he had with his girlfriend, who had just given birth to their first child, friends said.

By late Tuesday, cops were still trying to track down the two gunmen.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to come forward.

Tipsters, police said, could receive $2,000 for information leading to the thieves’ arrest and indictment.

Calls can be made to either the 61st Precinct at (718) 627-6611 and the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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