Cab drivers gather in Portland to honor murdered colleague, friend

Published: Apr. 22, 2023 at 10:26 PM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Easter Sunday, a Portland Radio Cab driver picked up a fare which would be his last.

Portland Police and Radio Cab say 43-year-old Reese McDowell Lawhon picked up a passenger, believed to be 30-year-old Moses Lopez, at Voodoo Donuts. A short while later, Lawhon was found stabbed to death off Southeast Water Avenue.

Colleagues who watched the incident happen on video from inside of the cab say it looked like the 43-year-old never saw it coming, and Lawhon’s death sparked outrage in the Portland cab driving community.

On Saturday, Radio Cab drivers from across the region drove into the city to show their support for a man many of them considered to be their close friend.

RELATED: Man released from jail just days before deadly stabbing of Radio Cab driver in Portland

When we heard about this on Easter morning,” Mingus Mapps, PBOT’s Commissioner who oversees cab protocol in Portland, explained, “we were horrified.”

Mapps said he won’t stand for it. Nor will friends of the 43-year-old, some saying they were blessed to see the victim many times per week prior to his death.

“He really was a great guy and I know I’ll miss him,” Noah Ernst, Radio Cab’s Driver Superintendent, said through tears. “Lots of you will miss him, and I hope we can keep his memory alive”

“It’s hard to make sense out of what happened,” Darin Campbell, Radio Cab’s Director of Marketing, added. “When one falls, everyone else hurts and comes together.”

SEE ALSO: 1 shot dead in NE Portland supportive housing; residents say apartments far safer than streets

Portlanders and roughly 100 cab drivers met at the same place the tragic scene unfolded almost two weeks ago. Standing together, some describe their message as “unity.”

“Family, that’s really what it is. Everybody cares about everybody that does this because they know what you go through,” said one.

“We’re all a community of cab drivers out here in Portland, and we have to support each other,” said another. “Especially in this time when it’s getting more and more dangerous to be driving around out here.”

Mapps went onto say he’s used Radio Cab’s services firsthand and understands their importance to keep a “city on the move” functioning.

“Many of you have picked me up, and my kids up, and helped us get to where we need to go,” Mapps said.

Together, the group read the victim’s obituary written by family in Fort Worth, Texas. Two sisters and a half a dozen nieces and nephews wrote that Lawhon was a musician and artist who fell in love with Portland and loved nothing more than driving people around the city.

SEE ALSO: Suspect wanted for attempted murder, robbery in Cedar Mill

“We want this individual who is responsible to know what they took from us, and that they took something precious from the community,” Campbell said. “He was well liked by everybody who came across his path.”

Campbell said their fight doesn’t stop until justice is served against whoever killed Lawhon.

Lopez, who is in custody, is charged with his murder.

“This continues, and it’s just going to harder as the frustration grows,” Campbell said.

Campbell said Lopez won’t be tried until 2024, which he said some are upset about.

Lawhon’s family are holding his funeral on Monday in Fort Worth.