Uber Driver's Car Shot Up After He Becomes an Unwilling Getaway Driver
Uber driver avoids paying the ultimate price, gets charged $1,000 instead.
Image: Jake Collinson
On Sunday morning, around 2:30 a.m. in the Depot District of Lubbock, Texas, Uber driver Jake Collinson responded to a trip request. When Collinson picked up his passenger, who told him there were four more passengers coming, he realized they were fighting with another group. The other four jumped in Collinson’s vehicle after hearing a police siren. He attempted to kick them out of the vehicle, to avoid being implicated as a “getaway driver.” But then the bullets hit his SUV.
As first reported by KCBD, Collinson’s vehicle was shot multiple times, with a bullet striking a passenger in the back. A bystander captured video of the vehicle under fire. Collinson then drove to University Medical Center, where the passenger was found to have “serious, but non-life threatening injuries,” according to a statement the Lubbock Police Department shared with Motherboard.
The official police report is not yet available and the case is still under investigation. Lubbock Police Department shared a summary of the incident with Motherboard:
“After questioning multiple people, it appears two groups of people got into a physical altercation in the area 900 18th Street. Once the fight was broken up, one group got into a vehicle to leave. Officers were advised a person in the other group then fired multiple shots at the vehicle. A back passenger in the vehicle was struck by a bullet, and the driver took him to UMC. The 25-year-old male victim had serious, but non-life threatening injuries. Officers were unable to locate the group of suspects at the scene.”
Collinson was physically unharmed, thankfully. His car, while driveable, has several bullet holes in the rear, side, and backseat. Collinson faces a $1,000 bill to fix his vehicle.
“Currently I’m in the middle of talks with Uber. They haven’t been the best at communicating with me since the incident occurred,” Collinson said in a chat with Motherboard.
Collinson felt Uber’s service after the incident was “pretty absent,” mentioning he was called by the wrong name in one correspondence with the company. Two days after the incident, Collinson got his first call from Uber. Prior to this call, Collinson reached out several times asking for updates, met with “either no response or the automated ‘we’ll get back to you’ message,” he said. When Uber finally called, “(A)ll I really did was tell them the story again and they said they’d get back to me,” Collinson said.
Uber’s insurance also reached out to Collinson and said the damage of his vehicle would be covered, but he would be required to make a $1,000 deductible payment first. Collinson told me, given his car is 7 years old, this price of the deductible could mean the car is totaled, meaning the cost of repair is near or equal to the total value of the vehicle.
Even if the car is repaired, Collinson is not sure if he’ll continue driving for Uber. “I have bills that I need to pay for, but I’m still pretty spooked and anxious from the whole thing at the moment and I honestly don’t know if I want to drive for a company when I feel that they don’t necessarily care that I easily could have died that night,” he said.
In an emailed statement to Motherboard, a spokeswoman for Uber said, “We've spoken to Jake to check on his well-being and are thankful he was not injured and is doing okay. We appreciate the Lubbock Police Department's quick response to the scene and stand ready to assist in their investigation."
The spokeswoman also referenced Uber’s community guidelines, which prohibit firearms, but did not answer inquiries into how the company is supporting Collison or whether visible bullet holes are allowed on Uber vehicles.
When talking about the public response to the news, Collinson said, “moral support has been pretty good,” except for one response, in which a Twitter user chalked the shooting up to the cost of the gig economy.
Though he’s just survived a harrowing experience, Collinson is making the best of it. In his TV interview, he wore a t-shirt representing his hardcore band, Judiciary, mirroring a popular trend of hijacking a Twitter thread to promote a SoundCloud page. (Judiciary is on Bandcamp, however.)
“We’ve got a lot of stuff coming up this year,” Collinson told me.