Police identify suspect connected to Columbus cab driver shooting

Sandy Mitchell (Source: Columbus Police Department)
Sandy Mitchell (Source: Columbus Police Department)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus police are on the hunt for a killer after a cab driver was found shot to death in his cab early Sunday morning.

Columbus native 59-year-old Byron Keith Brown picked people up and took them where they needed to go for more than two decades.

According to investigators, Brown made his final pick-up around 2:00 a.m., a couple of hours later, he was found dead.

A former co-worker of Brown's said she'd known him for more than 15 years and he was always willing to help someone in need.

"He started picking me up when I was 16 in his cab, taking me back and forth to work" said the former co-worker. "The days my kids got sick and I didn't have any money, he would pick us up and take us to the hospital. Byron was a good man."

Officers responded to the call around 4:00 a.m. Sunday on Munson Drive and Shelby Street. That's where they found Brown in the driver's seat of his Yellow Cab van with a single gunshot wound to the head.

"I worked for the company, but I'm glad I did get fired yesterday because that could've been me on the call."

Brown's former co-worker said she was never in any danger as a cab driver for Yellow Cab in Columbus but she usually drove during the day.  She says whoever committed this crime did it for a very little money.

"When I was driving, the most I had on me was maybe $100.  If it's robbery, why would you rob a cab driver?  They're not going to have a lot of money in their pocket."

Police say Yellow Cab reports the last time they heard from Brown is when he arrived at the Motel 6 on Victory Drive to pick up an African American man wearing a white t-shirt and dark colored jeansheading to Phenix City.

Police have identified the suspect as 21-year-old Sandy Mitchell. Mitchell is 5'10" and weighs 215 pounds. He has a small one-inch scar in the center of his forehead, and he has a medium to dark complexion.  Authorities say Mitchell should be considered armed and dangerous.

We're told Brown was married and had several children.  News Leader 9 spoke with the Yellow Cab Company.  They said Byron Brown worked at the company for many years but they declined to comment any further.

If you have any details about this murder you are encouraged to call Columbus investigators at (706) 653-3400 or by dialing 911.

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