MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 20-year old Robbinsdale man has been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly shooting a cab driver in the back.

New details are surfacing about what happened during the last few minutes of 56-year-old William Harper’s life.

Police believe Samuel Johosephat Taylor also carried out a robbery the same night of the shooting.

Police found Harper on the corner of 23rd Ave and 4th Street, lying in the street outside of his yellow cab.

Taylor turned himself in with the assistance of an attorney, but the victim’s family says they are still waiting for justice.

“My brother was my best friend. We were very close,” William Harper’s brother, Robert Harper said.

It was last Wednesday when Roseville Police showed up at Robert Harper’s door step to tell him his brother and best friend had been shot.

“I was dumbfounded. I was absolutely dumbfounded,” Harper said.

A former truck driver and limousine chauffeur, Harper had just taken a job with yellow taxi the week before the shooting.

Harper says his brother got into the cab business to help transport people with medical needs and the elderly, often off-the-meter.

“He really felt fulfilled when he did something for somebody that needed something,” Harper said.

According to the criminal complaint, Taylor had “changed the appearance of his hair” and bleached his hands because “a witness had seen him run from the crime scene.”

“That was a very cowardly thing to do to shoot somebody in the back like that through the seat of a cab,” Howard said.

Taylor’s criminal history shows he was charged with five felony counts of first-degree aggravated robbery in 2010. He was put on probation until 2013, but admitted to violating his probation last month. As a result, he was ordered to a group home.

Robert Harper questions why Taylor wasn’t taken into custody after his probation violation.

“If he would’ve been taken off the street and put in prison, my brother would probably be alive today,” Harper said. “If a person is that dangerous to society, why are we letting ’em walk around?”

Harper says he admires cab drivers, and thinks much like his brother, they take their life in their hands daily.

“I feel very sorry for the cab drivers out there,” Harper said.

Taylor is currently in the Hennepin County Jail. If he’s found guilty, he could face up to 40 years in prison.

William Harper’s funeral will be held Monday in Roseville.

Comments (17)
  1. penny says:

    Lock em all up!!

    1. Geoff says:

      I wish that someone would champion a law that a Judge who is lenient with a probation violator or felon on a current ongoing issue who later then commits another felony serves some time in a prison right besied the garbage she/he allowed freedom to “do it again”
      If a Judge has little accountability for actions they have little vested interest in doing what is right for the Public.
      Time for reform and a cleansing of the judicial system which is as much a part of the problem as the perps

  2. Dave says:

    I believe this fine upstanding citizen is from Robbinsdale.

    1. BKinMN says:

      Dave’s not here……..Where did this upstanding citizen axe to get taken to, pull his gat, and drop a cap in the cabbie?? That would be Norff Minneapolis. Which fits Gangsta J’s comment.

      1. Dave says:

        If you care to actually do research before commenting by simply using those Googles you’ll find that he’s “Taylor, of Robbinsdale”.

  3. Brett says:

    Amazing that this thug got NO jail time for his past conviction of *1st* degree aggravated robbery only about 2 years ago, and was wanted for a probation violation at the time of the shooting. This senseless murder could have easily been prevented. THIS TIME, throw away the key. We need the death penalty in Minnesota.

  4. pink says:

    AMAZING how one nevers here’s “white” people stand up crying PREJUDICE, but the reverrse…..

    1. Jeff "Gangsta" J says:

      “how one nevers here’s “white” people stand up crying PREJUDICE, but the reverrse…..”

      Sounds like you need to go back to Norff High and brush up on your grammar skills.

      1. PoliticiansSUX says:

        of course the point is spot on. Apparently when you can not argue the point, you attack the messenger?

  5. Carl says:

    Is there any penalty to the family members that helped him evade the police? There should be!!!

    1. Brett says:

      It’s called AIDING AND ABETING, but most prosecutors don’t have the BACKBONE to try such a case, but it would be NICE if THEY DID. Would probably save most of us law-abiding types a LOT OF GRIEF.

  6. KLS says:

    If he’s been charged why haven’t you shown his picture?

  7. Thanks for nothing says:

    And they wonder why taxis won’t go into their area. Where are Madd Dads? Where are all the concerned citizens crying for an end to violence? There must be a march scheduled.

  8. stubby says:

    When a black on black shooting occur is the only time Madd Dadds speak up. When a black kid shoot a white….crickets….when a white kills a black…total riots.

  9. See BS says:

    Of course this story doesn’t make the National News like it was a “hate crime”

  10. TonyS says:

    I hope the Prez calls and goes on national tv talking about this case….. I mean he did it with the recent florida case. Has the DOJ shown up yet?

  11. Murph says:

    “Pull around the corner and park”,the fare said! Gee, there sure seems to be a lot of cops around here I said as one passed two blocks away in full sight of the “fare”.The next sound was the slamming of the door and five bucks on the back seat.Distance driven 1/2 block 33rd and Clinton S. Mpls!Some people are born lucky,some are not! Thirty years has not dulled that life or death minute for me.I live in the woods.I encounter bears,get bit by woodticks and eat wild game. I don’t get robbed or killed, I don’t get poisoned by bad food or robbed by murderous parolees or amatueuers! I don’t miss those days as fodder to the fire that burns within criminals either! Move out of the big cities folks.With these gas and other prices,those 800 plus REX 84 camps are obviously set up for YOU! Look it up,this is the GOP you know and love at it’s worst! Elect them and see for yourselves!