Ethiopian taxi driver Zewdneh Assemu stabbed to death in Memphis, Tennessee

Zewdneh Assemu
MEMPHIS, TN (LOCAL MEMPHIS) — Zewdneh Assemu was beaten and stabbed to death last Friday. His body was discovered next to his cab in Fayette County just before midnight. Investigators are still searching for his killer.

Fellow cab drivers in Memphis say it’s a dangerous job and more needs to be done to protect them.

Assemu moved to Memphis from Ethiopia four years ago. He took a job with MetroCab to care for his family. He lost his life doing driving the taxi.

His family cannot make sense of such a senseless crime. His coworkers say extra security could help prevent violence like this.

“We all know that it’s a very risky job,” said Assemu’s brother Bobby.

Knowing that danger doesn’t make it any easier for him to lose his brother. He came to the cab company Monday afternoon for answers.

“Everything is under investigation,” he said. “We’ll let the process run. Hopefully it works.”

“He’s my coworker,” said Abdbaee Banatie. He was also Assemu’s friend. “We are church friends. You know, family. We miss him. We really miss him.”

Family members called Banatie when they hadn’t heard from Assemu last Friday. He called MetroCab, who said GPS showed Assemu’s cab was in Fayette County.

“They said since 12:13 pm,” Banatie said. “The time I called them was 9:30 pm so that was 9 hours. My wife right away she called 911.”

Assemu’s cab was found just before midnight at Abbott and Amherst Roads in an upscale subdivision.

Assemu’s body was next to the car. Autopsy results showed he was beaten and stabbed.

“The company is supposed to have something to protect us because our job is so dangerous,” Banatie said.

Bantatie isn’t driving right now. His cab’s been parked since the murder.

“I don’t feel good right now,” Banatie said.

“There’s nothing in between the persons behind you,” said cab driver Steve Pereria. “You have no idea what their intentions are going to be. It’s a risk every day going out there trying to make a buck.”

Fellow cab drivers are mourning Assemu’s death and taking it as a warning.

“They’re more cautious,” Pereria said.

Assemu has a wife and two daughters, now without their dad.

“Now they don’t have a father because somebody wanted to rob and kill him,” said Pereria. “While we feel down at the moment, we’re trying to take collections for his funeral and trying to pull together and do something for his family.”

MetroCab refused to talk to us today. Assemu’s cousin said the company hasn’t called the family since this happened.

If you know anything that could help catch his killer call 1-800-TBI-FIND.