The passenger of a ride-sharing Uber car in Denver, Colorado, was found dying on the front passenger seat after being shot multiple times. The driver claims he opened fire when his customer tried to attack him.
The incident happened, apparently after a dispute, in the early hours of Friday morning in the US city of Denver, Colorado.
Denver police said the 45-year-old passenger was shot numerous times and 10 spent cartridges were found on the Interstate 25 highway near where the silver sedan had come to a halt.
A witness at the scene called emergency services and police arrived, placed the 29-year-old driver in handcuffs, removed a gun from his waistband and took him to the hospital. He was later arrested as part of a first-degree murder investigation and is being held in jail in Denver. He is reported to have declined to talk to investigators without a lawyer being present.
Passenger taken to hospital
Police found the car by a ramp and a man in the footwell of the front passenger seat. Denver Police Department public information officer Sonny Jackson said: "There appears to be a conflict between an Uber driver and his passenger. The passenger did suffer gunshot wound or wounds and was transported to the hospital where subsequently he was pronounced dead a short time later."
The San Francisco-based Uber Technologies issued a statement saying it was "deeply troubled" by the incident.
"Our thoughts are with the families of those involved," Uber said. "The driver's access to the app has been removed, and we will continue working closely with police."
The company has been sanctioned in the past for vetting of its drivers. In November it was fined $8.9 million (€7.6 million) by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for allowing 57 people to be Uber drivers although they did not hold valid licenses or had committed other offenses. However, the fines were later reduced when Uber protested that many of the violations did not legally apply.
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Uber does not allow riders or drivers to carry firearms — unless the state stops companies from banning guns. Colorado state allows drivers to carry firearms to protect themselves and their property.
In separate cases, a driver in Michigan shot and killed six people in 2016. Last May in Illinois, an Uber driver was murdered by a teenage passenger with a machete. In August, a man in Florida died after an Uber driver punched him.
jm/sms (Reuters, AP)