MIAMI(CBSMiami) — Miami Police detectives are trying to figure out why someone fired bullets at the car of an Uber driver after he had picked up a passenger Monday morning. The gunfire shattered his rear window.
Wendy Martin, a neighbor of the passenger told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “I guess they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Miami Police officer and spokeswoman Kenia Fallat said the passenger, Hermaud Rolle, contacted Uber for a ride just after 6 a.m. He met the driver, Israel Jose Arenas Daly, at N.W. 5th Ave. and 54th Street.
“Immediately after he got in the car,” said Fallat, “bullets went flying. We do know the man just started shooting at this vehicle. No one was hurt. The car was struck several times. The gunman took off.”
Fallat said, “We are still trying to figure out who the target was. We don’t know if it was the driver or the passenger, so there’s a lot of things going on.”
Fallat said police were looking at surveillance tape from a nearby store.
“These are isolated incidents,” she said of the latest assault on an Uber driver. “Fortunately the occupants of the vehicle were not struck nor were any bystanders nearby. It’s important for people to call us with information because this could have taken a turn for the worse had anyone been struck inside the vehicle or anyone walking to school as it was early in the morning.”
CBS4 attempted to speak with the Uber driver after he studied the damage to his vehicle but he said in Spanish that he was too upset to talk.
“I’m still scared,” he said. “Let me get over my emotions.”
Wendy Martin said, “It’s surprising because it could have been any one of us. We all use Uber drivers because we don’t have cars. What happened to him could happen to anybody. It could have happened to me as I was taking my kids to school.”
She went on, “I was taking my kids to school today and I heard me neighbor was going to ask for an UBER driver to go to work and when he left they shot at the car…I don’t think they were targeting him because he doesn’t mess with anybody. He stays in his home and he goes to work every day. I guess it was just an example of him and the Uber driver being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Uber released a statement on the matter Monday evening saying, “We spoke to the driver this morning and are thankful that both he and his rider were unharmed.”
Police have not decided if they are going to release any surveillance tape from the convenience store near the scene of the shooting.
If you can help Miami Police with this case, call them or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477). Callers remain anonymous and can be eligible for a reward of up to 1,000.