SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A taxi driver is in critical condition after he was shot in the face early Saturday morning.

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Willie Gooch, 39, was shot in the face twice near Garden Highway and Truxel Road in Sacramento at around 3:30 a.m. after he had picked up two passengers, say police.

Witnesses say he was driving down Truxel when his van suddenly swerved and pulled over. That’s when two suspects got out and ran away.

Gooch underwent surgery at UC Davis and is expected to survive. The bullets narrowly missed his carotid artery.

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His girlfriend, Vanessa Jackson, thinks the assault was a robbery gone bad.

“They just don’t care about life; they would do this to anyone. There’s not enough money in the world for what Willie is going through right now. It’s senseless,” said Jackson.

“We don’t know if the suspects were actually given a ride here if they were dropped off here, if they confronted the taxi cab driver while he was picking up a fair,” said Sacramento Police Sgt. Andrew Petit.

Gooch is a veteran driver who had recently started working at Capitol Cab Company.

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As Gooch fights for his life, Jackson makes this plea for help: “Please come forward, like I said, it’s Willie today, it could be someone you know tomorrow.”