Uber Driver Thwarts Robbery Attempt by Fatally Shooting Would-Be Thief on Florida Causeway

The driver was approached by a man carrying two guns, police said.

ByABC News
December 19, 2016, 4:41 AM

— -- A South Florida Uber driver thwarted a robbery attempt Sunday morning by fatally shooting an armed, would-be thief who approached the driver in the middle of a causeway and demanded he hand over his belongings, police said.

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."

But the unidentified Uber driver was also armed, and he proceeded to fire at the would-be thief, police said. The suspect, who was not identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the Uber driver fired in self-defense.

When police arrived at the scene, the suspect's two guns were located, but the minivan was missing. Police believed that another individual in the minivan drove off, WPLG reported.

But by Sunday evening, police had located the van and were questioning a person of interest.

Police said the Uber driver had a concealed weapons permit. But Uber -- which had no comment, according to WPLG -- has a firearms policy, which states, "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."

Neither the Uber driver nor his passenger were harmed.