Uber Driver Shoots and Kills Alleged Robber While Passenger Looks On

The Toyota Corolla that the Uber driver was using before he shot and alleged robber in self-defense (Screenshot from NBC)
The Toyota Corolla that the Uber driver was using before he shot and alleged robber in self-defense (Screenshot from NBC)

Shooting and killing someone is against Uber’s terms of use. But that didn’t stop an Uber driver in Aventura, Florida who shot and killed a man on Sunday morning during an alleged robbery attempt. Both the Uber driver and his passenger were uninjured.

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According to the driver, who has yet to be named by police, a Dodge Caravan minivan cut him off shortly after he picked up a passenger at an apartment complex. One man exited the minivan holding two guns and pointed them at the driver. The Uber driver, who has a license to carry a firearm, shot and killed the would-be robber. The second man in the minivan drove off.

Gizmodo has reached out to Uber and has not yet received a statement, but the local CBS station in Miami reports that the shooting started around 5am on Sunday. Uber drivers are forbidden from carrying guns, even in states where it’s legal to do so. This rule, however, is impossible to enforce given Uber’s decentralized nature. There’s no Uber safety monitor checking the glove compartment before a given Uber driver starts his day, for instance.

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This, of course, isn’t the first time that an Uber driver has used a firearm while on the job. Earlier this year, an Uber driver in Kalamazoo, Michigan shot eight people and killed six while he was working for Uber. He picked up passengers in between killings, and one passenger even joked with him (unknowingly, of course) about whether he was the killer.

It’s unclear if the unnamed Uber driver in Florida will face any form of punishment from the company for breaking Uber’s no-guns policy. Police have said that they don’t expect to file charges since the shooting was in self-defense.

[CBS Miami and NBC Washington]

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

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DISCUSSION

I’m a firearms owner and enthusiast, and I’ll be that guy who says that the driver had no right to put the passenger’s life at risk like that. The passenger didn’t sign up to be a bystander in a gun fight, and I can bet that is part of the reason why Uber has a no-firearms policy. So many things could have went wrong and Uber would absolutely be on the hook for damages should that passenger been injured. Hell, even the fact that the passenger just witnessed someone get killed is probably going to cost them in damages because it’s not just like a fucking video game. Seeing a violent act up close and personal causes mental anguish and to say otherwise means you’ve never been there.

There is absolutely no guarantee that the robber would have shot and killed anyone if they just complied and handed over whatever he asked for, and it’s speculative both ways. For example, if the robber already had guns drawn, yet the driver was still able to draw and fire then it stands to reason that the robber wasn’t thinking he’d have to use his guns or the guns were fake.

To argue anything about my second paragraph is a red herring, and the real point I’m making is in the first.