A cab driver who witnessed the shooting of two Riverside police officers said he was very sad, but also thankful that he was there to help. Jacob Rascon reports from Riverside for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Feb. 18, 2013.
Minutes after a man in a dark pickup truck shot at LAPD officers in Corona, cab driver Karam Kaoud stopped at a red light nearby in Riverside.
He thought little of the shooting when the same truck pulled up next to him and rolled through the light.
Kaoud wasn't even very startled when the man in the truck shot something at the patrol car stopped at the light across the street.
He thought it was a paintball gun.
"The sound was silent like barely you hear it," he said.
But the patrol car didn't follow the truck, and instead rolled forward, slowly.
“When he reached the middle of the intersection, at this moment I realize it was a real gun and a real shooting."
Kaoud jumped out of his cab, ran to the driver's side of the patrol car and got out a simple question to the driver.
“What, what should I do?
"I never face something like this and he told me, 'Grab the radio for me.'”
He grabbed the radio and and started to call for help.
The driver was Andrew Tachias, the passenger, his training officer, Michael Crain.
The two had been together for only three weeks. Crain was unconscious.
Tachias struggled to mutter "officer down" into the radio.
"He said, ‘I'm losing my breath.’”
Kaoud, who has a family of his own, wondered if the shooter was finished.
"I was worried about him to come back and start to shoot."
Kaoud is glad he stayed. And he's glad the shooter is no longer a threat.
But he wonders, how could things have turned out differently?
"It's over but there is an officer who died who has family. The kids at home looking for their dad and no dad now."