Livery cab driver kills himself outside City Hall

NEW YORK (AP) - A livery cab driver who shot himself to death outside New York's City Hall had posted on Facebook hours earlier that politicians had destroyed "a once thriving industry" and driven him to financial ruin.

Police say Douglas Schifter drove up to the east gate of City Hall on Monday morning and shot himself in the head. He died at the scene.

In his Facebook posting, Schifter had decried the transformation of New York City's taxi industry in recent years.

Major changes include the introduction of ride hailing services like Uber and Lyft, which now outnumber the city's iconic yellow cabs.

Taxi and Limousine records show that Schifter had driven livery cabs, black cars and limousines since the early 1980s.

A police spokesman says Schifter drove a black sedan up to the east gate of City Hall at 7:30 a.m. Monday and shot himself in the head. There were no other injuries.

Manhattan-bound traffic on the nearby Brooklyn Bridge was halted while police investigated the shooting, causing rush-hour traffic backups on both sides of the bridge.

Schifter shot himself close to one of two main security checkpoints for all people entering City Hall. Members of the public must pass through a metal detector before entering the building.

Security was tightened after a gunman killed a city councilman in 2003.

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