The victim of the Dudley road east murder has been identified locally.
Friends have said his name is Kimarni aka Marnz from Aston in Birmingham.
The victim is believed to have been a passenger in the private hire vehicle.
The taxi news site PHTN reported the driver escaped without injury but suffered severe shock.
The private hire firm did not wish to comment but it is understood the driver was helping West Midlands Police with enquiries.
A West Midland Police spokesperson said: “Our investigation is in the early stages and we have closed off the area as forensic examinations are carried out.” A blue police tent was located upon the road, on the left hand side of the carriageway, heading in the direction of Oldbury. Inside the tent could be seen a blue taxi from the firm 1-2-1 Cars. Officers were called to Dudley Road East at just before 1.30am, where a man was found with serious gunshot wounds. He was treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to hospital but sadly was later pronounced dead.
The police investigation is in the early stages and police have closed off the area as forensic examinations are carried out. I went to the scene to document events and half of Dudley Road East has been shut down and traffic diverted. A lot of locals were out watching the police at work.
The cordon stretched from between two businesses located on the street, although the tent itself was located further inside, next to some bushes and residential houses. Residents living near to the scene spoke of their shock, saying crime was not usually an issue in the area.
Jaz Kaur, aged 57, said she heard an ambulance during the early hours, adding: “I thought someone had crashed. “Yes, of course the incident is shocking. We have never heard anything like this before, we have never seen anything like this. “You wouldn’t expect it along a main road with traffic passing by.” Lynne Austin, 43, said: “I am shocked to hear about this. This does not really happen around here, it is a pretty quiet area. “I am just wondering what has happened and who it could be.” One man, who wished to remain anonymous, said heard a bang and thought it was a gunshot.
He said: “Jokingly, I said to my wife I heard a gunshot. I was sitting down, watching the TV when I saw the police. I thought there had been a car crash. “I am shocked to hear about this, very much so. I have lived here for 18 years, I am really surprised. Crime is not an issue around here.”
This comes several days after two shootings in Smethwick which is five minute drive away from crime scene. Police are also investigating the two incidents of gunshots being fired in Hugh Road, Smethwick this week. Two shots were fired at a house at just before 10.40pm on Tuesday (15 June). We also responded to gunshots fired at a property around 11.30pm last night (16 June). Thankfully no one was reported seriously injured on either occasion. However a woman did receive minor injuries. Keeping the public safe is our priority and neighbourhood officers have stepped up patrols in the area. It is understood the offenders were in a vehicle during both shootings and we are carrying out a forensic examination of the scene to identify those responsible for the attacks. Police have spoken to witnesses, conducted house to house enquiries and are in the process of reviewing CCTV from the area.
Inspector Christopher Fox, from Force CID, said: “We’re committed to tackling serious violence and gun crime and are carrying out a thorough investigation into the firearms discharges on Hugh Road. “Patrols have been stepped up in the area as a precaution and we are doing all we can to understand the circumstances and find those responsible. “We are taking these shootings very seriously and will prosecute those who think it’s acceptable to carry weapons on our streets and endanger lives.