A woman visiting Texas shot her Uber driver and then claimed she did it because she wrongly believed he was kidnapping her to Mexico, according to court documents.
Uber driver Daniel Piedra Garcia, 52, has been clinging to life in the ICU since being shot in the head last Friday, reported El Paso station KTSM.
Phoebe Copas, 48, now charged with felony aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury, was visiting her boyfriend in El Paso before the shooting, according to KFOX-TV.
The Tompkinsville, Kentucky, woman ordered an Uber to take her to a local casino, where she planned to meet her boyfriend when he got off work.
Piedra picked up Copas and while en route to the casino, Copas saw traffic signs that read “Juarez, Mexico,” according to KTSM.
Copas claims that’s what led her to believe she was being kidnapped and taken to Mexico.
Copas grabbed a “silver and brown handgun from her purse” and allegedly shot the driver in the head — causing the car to crash into roadway barriers before coming to a stop on US-54 near Loop 375.
Law enforcement noted in the charging documents that the shooting was not in close proximity of a bridge, port of entry, or any other area with immediate access to Mexico.
Police told KTSM their investigation does not support that a kidnapping took place or that Piedra was veering from Copas’ Uber route.
“His passenger shot him in the head because she believed he was kidnapping her and taking her to Juarez, which was not the case,” the driver’s wife, Ana, said in an online post.
“Daniel was simply following the route from the Uber app.”
Both drivers and passengers can track the route assigned by Uber to drivers on their phones, according to the ride-share company.
Uber also offers passengers a feature that lets them share their location with a friend or loved one.
Before calling 911 to seek help from authorities, Copas took photos of the bloodied and injured man and texted them to her boyfriend, the court documents state.
The unidentified boyfriend drove to the location to pick up Copas and was helping her out of the car when the cops arrived, according to police.
“We are horrified by the rider’s actions,” Uber said in a statement to KFOX.
“Violence is not tolerated on the Uber platform and we banned the rider as soon as we were made aware of what occurred.”
Piedra’s family are “hoping for a miracle,” adding that he had just recently started working for Uber after recovering from knee surgery.
“He is the sole provider for our family and hadn’t been able to work for some time now due to injuring his knee,” his wife explained. “He was so excited to finally be able to provide some income for his family just for this tragedy to occur.”
The family has created a GoFundMe page to help cover the expenses during this difficult time.