An Uber driver fatally shot a passenger Friday while driving on a highway in Denver, police said.
The shooting happened around 3 a.m. on Interstate 25, gnarling traffic for hours as police tried to interview potential witnesses, according to 9news in Denver.
The driver and victim have not been identified. Police said the deadly shooting appeared to stem from an argument.
There was some kind of altercation in the vehicle right before the driver fired the weapon, Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said.
Police could not confirm whether the driver was working at the time of the shooting.
The victim was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. The driver was also taken to the hospital and treated for unspecified injuries. No charges have been filed.
"At this time no one has been arrested," Jackson told The Denver Post. "That isn’t to say that there won’t be an arrest in the future."
Police said the driver fired at least one shot at the passenger and the car lost control, slamming into the highway barrier.
The driver’s mother spoke with 9news and said her son has been driving for Uber for years to make extra money. He also works at a youth group home, she said.
“He’s a husband, a father, a college student. He works two jobs,” the mother told 9news. “It’s a terrible, terrible thing that happened. We don’t know anything else.”
The driver used to work as a security guard, and the driver’s parents told 9news he had a conceal and carry permit.
Uber has a strict firearms prohibition policy.
“Our goal is to ensure that everyone has a safe and reliable ride. That's why Uber prohibits riders and drivers from carrying firearms of any kind in a vehicle while using our app,” it says. “Anyone who violates this policy may lose access to Uber.”
Uber and Colorado have a contentious relationship when it comes to crime. The state fined the company $8.9 million in 2017 for allowing 57 people with motor vehicle violations and criminal offenses to drive, according to The Denver Post.
The Public Utilities Commission found that the drivers had a range of legal issues, including felony convictions and impaired driving. They also found some were driving with invalid licenses.
“We have determined that Uber had background-check information that should have disqualified these drivers under the law, but they were allowed to drive anyway,” PUC director Doug Dean said in a statement last year. “These actions put the safety of passengers in extreme jeopardy.”
Uber said in a statement Friday, “We are all deeply troubled by the events in Denver today. Our thoughts are with the families of those involved, and we will continue working closely with police.”
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