Uber Driver Shoots and Kills Passenger in Denver

An Uber driver shot and killed a passenger during a ride in Denver early Friday, police said.

The shooting happened just before 3 a.m. Friday morning on Interstate 25, Denver7 reports. Michael Hancock, 29, was identified as the driver. He was arrested and faces first-degree murder charges. The passenger was Hyun Kim, 45.

According to police there was an altercation inside Hancock's Nissan sedan. Hancock told a witness Kim attacked him, and he shot him in response, police said.

The probable cause report states that the witness called 911 and gave the phone to the driver, who identified himself. When police arrived at the scene, they tried to revive Kim with CPR. He was taken to Denver Health Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

According to the report obtained by Denver7, police found a semiautomatic pistol in Hancock's waistband and found "10 spent 40 caliber cartridges on the left shoulder of Interstate 25 near University Blvd."

A detective also found a blood trail near the bullets, which was "consistent with the path of where the Nissan sedan came to rest," as well as "several suspected bullet strikes in the passenger compartment of the Nissan sedan."

Hancock was also taken to the hospital because he had trouble breathing at the scene. After he was treated, he was arrested on investigation of first-degree murder.

Hancock has had run-ins with the law before. In April, he faced a speeding ticket and has been convicted on other traffic violations in the past, reports Denver7.

His father, Michael Hanckock Sr., told Denver7 his son has two children and is a college student. His father also told CBS News he worked as an Uber driver to earn extra money.

According to CBS News, Uber has a policy barring drivers and riders from carrying weapons during a ride.

"We are deeply troubled by the events in Denver today. Our thoughts are with the families of those involved," the company told CBS News.

Uber has been criticized for its background checks on drivers. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission found the company employing 57 drivers with felony convictions, major moving violations and even suspected driver's licenses. The commission fined Uber $8.9 million last year. The company contested the fine and it was cut in half in April, reports the Denver Post.

In April, CNN reported that at least 103 Uber drivers in the U.S. have been accused of sexual assaults. In response, Uber announced this week it was launching a new "911 button" in the app to allow riders to make an easy call for emergency assistance.


"Every second counts in an emergency," Sachin Kansal, Uber director of safety products, told MarketWatch. "We want to make sure our users get help quickly with accurate information if faced with an emergency situation."