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Police: Uber driver said customer tried to attack him

UPDATED: Fri., June 1, 2018

Denver Police Department detectives, foreground, investigate near where a Nissan sedan, top left, being driven by an Uber driver crashed into a retaining wall along Interstate 25 south of downtown Denver early Friday, June 1, 2018. The driver allegedly shot and killed a passenger at 2:45 a.m. after a confrontation broke out between the two while headed southbound on the interstate. (David Zalubowski / Associated Press)
Denver Police Department detectives, foreground, investigate near where a Nissan sedan, top left, being driven by an Uber driver crashed into a retaining wall along Interstate 25 south of downtown Denver early Friday, June 1, 2018. The driver allegedly shot and killed a passenger at 2:45 a.m. after a confrontation broke out between the two while headed southbound on the interstate. (David Zalubowski / Associated Press)
By Colleen Slevin Associated Press

DENVER – An Uber driver arrested in the fatal shooting of a passenger told a witness that he opened fire after his customer tried to attack him, police said Friday.

However, according to a partially redacted police report, Michael Andre Hancock, 29, declined to talk to investigators about the shooting on Interstate 25 just before 3 a.m. without a lawyer. Police said the unidentified man who was killed was found lying on the floor board of the car’s front passenger seat.

The witness called 911 and passed the phone to Hancock, who identified himself to the dispatcher, the report said.

After police arrived and an officer placed handcuffs on Hancock and removed a semi-automatic pistol from his waist band, police said he had trouble breathing. Hancock was taken to a hospital for treatment. He was later arrested on investigation of first-degree murder.

It will be up to prosecutors to decide whether to charge him with murder or any other crime. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer yet.

Uber said In a statement that it has removed Hancock’s access to its app and will continue to work closely with police.

“We are deeply troubled by the events in Denver today. Our thoughts are with the families of those involved,” the company said.

Uber policy bars riders and drivers from carrying firearms except in states that expressly prohibit companies from banning guns. While Colorado allows drivers to carry firearms to protect themselves and their property, Uber spokesman Andrew Hasbun said the company’s policy applies in Colorado.

The silver sedan Hancock and the man were riding in crashed into a wall at the end of an onramp. A sport utility vehicle with its doors open was also stopped nearby, but police said that vehicle was not involved in the shooting.

Court records show Hancock has had a few traffic tickets but no criminal record in Colorado.

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