Uber does all it can to ensure that its on-demand cars are rolling gun-free zones. As you may already know, the company prohibits both its drivers and their passengers from carrying firearms, no matter the local laws where their cars operate. Sometimes, though, the real world intrudes on this utopian dream of peace on earth and good will toward the men and women in and around their driver-owned vehicles. Just as it did early yesterday morning in south Florida.
The driver, who had a passenger in his vehicle, was travelling to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
“At approximately 5:50 a.m. today, there was a gentleman operating an Uber and picked up a fare here in Aventura at one of the local condos,” Aventura police Sgt. Chris Goranitis told reporters Sunday, according to ABC affiliate WPLG.
The Uber driver’s vehicle was then cut off by a Dodge Caravan minivan on the William Lehman Causeway.
“The driver of the Caravan exited the vehicle and he had two firearms in his hands and he pointed them at the Uber driver and demanded items from the driver,” Goranitis said. “This was an attempted robbery. We don’t believe it was road rage.”
You have to wonder why a highway stick-up man would target a car service that doesn’t accept cash payments. It’s possible something else was going on here. Or maybe he didn’t know he’d stopped an Uber car at all. We may never know because no one will be getting much useful information out of the two-fisted gunman.
(T)he unidentified Uber driver was also armed, and he proceeded to fire at the would-be thief, police said.
An accomplice took off in the minivan as his partner exsanguinated on the causeway pavement.
The suspect, who was not identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Fortunately neither the driver nor his passenger was harmed in the making of this armed self-defense story. While the un-named driver was a licensed concealed carrier, he’s likely now looking for another new economy-type gig, as Uber will no doubt pull his ticket. There’s no report as to whether the passenger needed a change of shorts before boarding his plane.
In the end, all’s well that ends well. Will an incident like this change Uber’s mind about allowing legally carried firearms in their vehicles? Don’t hold your egg nog-scented breath. And while the driver may take a financial hit from the loss of his job, this little situation could have ended up far worse for both occupants of the Uber car. Drive on.