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Denver Uber driver kills passenger in alleged self-defense incident

It's a nightmare for everyone involved.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
June 2, 2018
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Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

An Uber driver in Denver has been arrested for an investigation into first-degree murder charges after he killed his passenger in the early morning on June 1st. Michael Hancock told a witness that he shot his customer, Hyun Kim, several times in self-defense after being attacked while on the highway. Uber said it couldn't provide details regarding the investigation, but noted that it was assisting police and had revoked Hancock's access to its driver app.

Whether or not Hancock's claims are accurate, he was violating Uber's policies by carrying a gun in the first place. Uber forbids both drivers and passengers from carrying firearms in most states (with exceptions for states that bar these restrictions), and the company has confirmed that its no-gun stance applies in Colorado.

It's not certain that Hancock will face charges, and Uber's ability to prevent the incident is complicated. It couldn't have stopped Hancock from bringing a gun into the vehicle, but he did have multiple traffic convictions that might have run afoul of Uber background check rules that disqualify drivers with either major violations or a "recent history" of minor violations. We've asked Uber for clarification, but company's recently instituted annual criminal checks could be vital for removing drivers whose track record suggests they ignore policies and the law on a regular basis.

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