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Cab Driver Jorge Arbayza De La Cruz Shot To Death In Orange County

NEWBURGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A cab driver was shot and killed Thursday night in Orange County.

The family of Jorge Arbayza de la Cruz is asking for justice while police look for the killer, CBS2's Nick Caloway reported Friday.

Music played and candles burned along North Miller Street in Newburgh - a tribute to Arbayza de la Cruz.

Arbayza de la Cruz, 51, was a good-hearted man who came to the U.S. from Peru in 2015, said his sister Juana Bendecu.

Police say a cab driver was shot and killed Thursday night in Orange County. (Credit: Family handout)

He drove a taxi seven days a week to make a living.

Family, friends and colleagues gathered at the scene Friday morning, trying to make sense of what happened and pleading for justice.

"He was doing his job. I feel like it's so unfair. It's very heartbreaking for all of us. It's something that we didn't expect. It could have happened to anybody," one person said.

"I'm still trying to put it together myself. But it's a very dangerous job. Everybody knows that," said Anthony Benitez, a friend.

Police said Arbayza de la Cruz was dropping off a fare when the passenger tried to rob him at gunpoint around 9 p.m. There was a struggle, and he was shot twice before the passenger ran away.

"It looks like it was a taxi cab robbery that went bad," said Lt. Brandon Rola of Newburgh Police.

Detectives canvassed the neighborhood Friday, searching for witnesses and clues.

"Right now, we're tracking down some leads. We're looking for a possible Ring camera, things like that. There's cameras everywhere," said Rola.

Fellow cab drivers paid their respects, heartbroken that someone would kill their friend over a few dollars.

"We are all in shock right now," said Waleska Ortiz. "They just don't know what they just did. They broke everybody's heart."

A candlelight vigil will be held at the scene Saturday at 6 p.m.

Arbayza de la Cruz's family put up money for a $10,000 reward for information about the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Newburgh Police detective division at 845-569-7509.

CBS2's Nick Caloway contributed to this report. Editor's note: This story was first published Oct. 1.

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