Uber driver fa­tally shoots man on Denver in­ter­state

In­ci­dent adds to woes for ride-hail­ing firm in Colo.

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - NEWS - Mike Snider and Trevor Hughes

DENVER – An Uber driver fa­tally shot a pas­sen­ger while the two were in a ve­hi­cle on an in­ter­state in Denver.

Denver po­lice depart­ment spokesman Sonny Jack­son says pre­lim­i­nary in­for­ma­tion points to a con­flict be­tween the driver and pas­sen­ger. He says shots were fired by the driver on In­ter­state 25 shortly be­fore 3 a.m Fri­day.

“This is very pre­lim­i­nary, but it ap­pears there was an Uber driver and his pas­sen­ger got into a con­flict in­side his ve­hi­cle, shots were ex­changed, shots were fired and the pas­sen­ger it ap­pears was shot,” Denver Po­lice spokesper­son Sonny Jack­son told KUSA-TV in Denver.

While po­lice said the driver worked for Uber, they could not con­firm whether he was work­ing at the time of the shoot­ing.

The driver and vic­tim were trans­ported to hos­pi­tals. Jack­son says the vic­tim was pro­nounced dead, and the driver has been treated and re­leased.

“We do know this per­son was an Uber driver. We’re go­ing to de­ter­mine if he was ac­tu­ally on a ride when this hap­pened. We’re go­ing to de­ter­mine what the re­la­tion­ship was be­tween what ap­pears to be a pas­sen­ger and a driver prior to this par­tic­u­lar ride,” Jack­son told KUSA-TV. “That’s the one thing I would stress any­one that was on the high­way at this time … If they saw a con­flict go­ing on in­side this ve­hi­cle please let us know.”

This is just the lat­est trou­ble­some in­ci­dent for the ride-hail­ing com­pany in Denver and the state of Colorado. In April, Denver law pro­fes­sor Nancy Leong fired off a se­ries of tweets de­scrib­ing how her Uber driver told her he was go­ing to take her to a ho­tel in­stead of the Denver In­ter­na­tional Air­port. At a stop­light, she said she screamed and pounded on the ve­hi­cle win­dows un­til nearby con­struc­tion work­ers no­ticed and the driver then un­locked the doors and Leong got out.

Last year, the Colorado Public Util­i­ties Com­mis­sion fined Uber $8.9 mil­lion af­ter reg­u­la­tors found 57 Uber driv­ers over the pre­vi­ous year and a half were on the job de­spite hav­ing felony con­vic­tions, ma­jor mov­ing vi­o­la­tions or were driv­ing with a sus­pended, re­voked or can­celed driver’s li­cense.

9NEWS

Po­lice say there was an ap­par­ent con­flict be­tween the Uber driver and his pas­sen­ger be­fore the shoot­ing in­ci­dent on In­ter­state 25 in Denver.

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