Ride sharing service UBER has officially designated their vehicles as gun-free zones. Neither drivers nor passenger may carry under penalty of being banned from the service. But that doesn’t mean it’s not done. Driver who pick up fares, sometimes in the early morning hours naturally want the ability to protect themselves. And while UBER does criminal background checks on all of its divers, you never know who’s behind the wheel of the car that’s picking you up.
When Michael Hancock picked up a fare in Denver well after midnight on Friday, though, he was packing a .40 caliber pistol. The fare got into the front passenger seat and at some point, things went horribly wrong.
According to the probable cause statement released by DPD, a male witness called 911 and said he saw a man slumped over in the passenger seat of a silver sedan on the side of the road. The witness said the driver told him he was an Uber driver and his passenger tried to attack him, so he shot the passenger. The witness then handed the phone to the driver, who identified himself as Hancock.
Police later found ten .40 caliber casings at the scene.
Hancock was placed into handcuffs and an officer removed a semiautomatic pistol from his waistband, according to the statement from DPD.
Hancock was also taken to a hospital because he said he was having trouble breathing.
Multiple reports say Hancock, who had been an UBER driver for three years, refused to comment at the scene until he had an attorney present. A smart move for anyone involved in a defensive gun use.
Police, however, aren’t so sure how defensive the shooting was.
UPDATE: 29 YO Michael Hancock has been arrested for investigation of first degree murder for the early morning shooting on I-25 and Unversity. pic.twitter.com/YVvKFVy5ge
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) June 1, 2018
Hancock obviously violated UBER’s gun-free zone policy and won’t be driving for the company any more. But that’s a small price to pay for protecting yourself from a violent passenger. Assuming, of course, that’s what really happened.