Canadian Taxi Driver Homicides: Ziad Bouzid Previous page    Next page • Driver Profiles

Ziad Bouzid

Montréal, Québec / November 20, 2013

At 11:45 p.m. on the night of November 19, 2013, a man who sounded confused called the Diamond Taxi office on Lajeunesse Street and asked for a cab at the Tim Horton's restaurant on Côte-de-Liesse Road near the Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport.

Ziad Bouzid, a 45-year-old father of three, answered the call. Half an hour later, at 12:15 a.m., Mr. Bouzid's Hyundai Sonata crashed into a parked car on Darlington Avenue, near the intersection of Côte-Sainte-Catherine Road. When an ambulance crew arrived a few minutes later they found Mr. Bouzid dead of a shotgun blast to the right side of his head.

Following the crash witnesses saw a man and a woman get out of the taxi and disappear into the night.

The next day a woman contacted Montréal police saying that she was the killer's wife and that she was in the taxi when the murder took place.

Police had a description of the suspected killer from the Tim Horton's security camera, which showed him borrowing a cell phone from a staff member at the time the call came in to Diamond Taxi.

The man's wife identified him and said that he threatened to kill again and create "carnage" if he was cornered by police. The police immediately announced the name and description of the 43-year-old suspect and issued a warning to consider him armed and dangerous.

On November 21 patrol officers in Longueul, across the St. Lawrence River from Montréal, arrested the man a stone's throw from a Sûeté du Québec police station. Hiding out at the home of a female friend, he saw the police bulletin on television and decided to turn himself in.

Under questioning the man told of an unhappy life which recently spiraled out of control. He lost a succession of jobs and wound up destitute and homeless. He and his wife spent the night before the murder in an empty freight container. A single backpack carried all their possessions, including a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun.

On the day of the murder the pair intended to go to the airport to redeem an airline ticket (the wife had recently returned from a trip to her native Tunisia). A female bus driver allowed them to board even though they did not have bus fare.

On the way to the airport the plan changed and the man decided to go to a former home on Darlington Avenue to find a place to sleep out of the cold.

Under questioning the man admitted that he was so filled with anger that he could have started shooting under any provocation, on the bus or at the Tim Horton's. A female staff member annoyed him at the restaurant but he did not retaliate because she was a woman.

Zaid Bouzid. (Source: Radio-Canada)

Mr. Bouzid became the target of the killer's anger simply because the killer did not have taxi fare. The first of two shots grazed Mr. Bouzid's coat. When he turned to see what was happening the second shot hit him in the side of the head.

Mr. Bouzid was married with an 18-year-old daughter and two sons aged 11 and 7. He had been an engineer in his native Algeria, but drove a taxi in Canada because his engineering credentials were not recognized. Mr. Bouzid's remains were flown to Algeria following his funeral.

A total of $77,000 was raised in support of Mr. Bouzid's family. Montréal taxi drivers donated $22,000, an amount matched by Diamond Taxi. The remainder came from members of the general public.

On May 27, 2016, the killer was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility for parole for 25 years. However, on March 9, 2020, the first degree conviction was overturned by the Québec Court of Appeal which ruled that the trial judge "erred in his directives to the jury as to what kind of killings could be deemed to be premeditated, a key element of a first-degree murder charge." The appeal court ordered a new trial.