An attempted carjacking on an Uber driver in New Orleans, Louisiana, resulted in the shooting of an innocent bellman as the driver opened fire on the assailant.
The incident occurred on the corner of Canal Street and Roosevelt Way on Saturday. At approximately 1:30 am, a 35-year-old Uber driver stopped to pick up his customer, a 29-year-old woman, from a hotel on Canal Street. As he stopped, a man exited a nearby silver car and approached the Uber driver with a gun in his hand. The assailant demanded that the woman and the Uber driver exit the vehicle, according to NOLA.
The Uber Driver complied with the demand, but grabbed his pistol from his door and fired multiple shots.
“As (the Uber driver) was getting out of the vehicle he grabbed his pistol off the door and started shooting,”
The Uber driver fired the shots because he feared he would be shot by the carjacker. He claimed the carjacker made a motion that was threatening and made him fearful for his life.
— wdsu (@wdsu) December 17, 2016
The shots that were fired from the Uber driver did not hit the carjacker. However, one stray shot did hit a nearby hotel bellman, according to WWLTV. The bellman was a 29-year-old male. His wounds were treated at a local hospital and were not life threatening. It was determined that he received a graze from the bullet.
The carjacker panicked and rushed from the scene with the Uber driver’s car. In his escape, he attempted a U-turn while driving south on Canal, nearly hitting two NOPD officers. The officers called for backup as the carjacker attempted to escape, hitting three cars in the process. In a final attempt to flee, the suspect ran from the scene but was quickly apprehended after only a few steps.
The suspect was arrested and identified as 28-year-old Andre Satcher. He was booked into the Orleans Parish jail fro carjacking, negligent injuring, illegal carrying of a firearm by a felon, armed robbery with a firearm, a hit and run, and other charges as well as multiple traffic violations. Satcher’s bond was set to $400,000.
The Uber driver was not charged for his part in the shooting. According to police, the gun was legally registered to him, and he used it in a method in which it was intended, to defend himself, according to Commander Gernon.
“At this point, we feel as though he was acting in response to a threat to his life. But we will put the entire package together for the district attorney’s office to give them the opportunity to review our work independently, and see if there’s anything there he might have some criminal culpability for.”
Despite not being charged for the shooting, the unnamed Uber driver is against the terms and conditions of the Uber app.
According to Uber, it is prohibited that riders and drivers carry any sort of firearm in the vehicle while the app is in use. Doing so may result in the individual losing access to Uber.
—????????Deplorable MrsK (@MrsESK) December 17, 2016
Uber-related crimes have seen a slight rise since the app was released. Although it is unknown whether the Uber driver was actually a potential shooting victim by Satcher, he was able to defend himself and prevent the possibility of death.
Should Uber drivers be able to protect themselves while on duty? Or, should it be assumed that passengers have no ill intent upon the drivers? What about the potential for carjackings?
[Featured Image Via Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office]