A man shot and killed an Uber driver in Denver on Monday night in what police said was a seemingly random act, then fired on and critically injured a responding security guard and stole the guard’s vehicle.
The shooting happened around 9:30 p.m. Monday near 17th Avenue and Williams Street in Denver’s City Park West neighborhood, the Denver Police Department said in a news release Tuesday.
The suspect, identified as Michael Gawain Jackson, 22, is in custody.
“There is no known connection between the suspect and any of the victims,” police said in the news release. “It appears, at this time, that the shooting of the rideshare driver was random.”
The Uber driver, a 51-year-old man, was driving on 17th Avenue with a female passenger when he was shot multiple times in his left side and crashed his silver Toyota Camry into a tree, according to an arrest affidavit. The driver died at a local hospital, and the woman suffered minor injuries in the crash.
The woman did not see what happened because she is blind, but she told police that nothing out of the ordinary happened in the approximately five minutes she was in the vehicle, according to an arrest affidavit.
The woman reported hearing gunshots outside the vehicle, heard the driver make noises and that the car came to a stop before slowly moving forward and crashing into a tree.
Two private security guards were driving between properties when they stopped to help after hearing the gunshots and crash, police said. Jackson approached one guard who got out of his vehicle and shot him in the abdomen, police said.
The security guard was in critical condition as of Tuesday morning, police said.
Jackson then got in the driver’s seat of the security vehicle, pointed a gun at the second security guard and told him to get out or Jackson would kill him, according to the affidavit. It was the second security guard’s first night on the job.
Denver police, using the vehicle’s GPS data, tracked Jackson to the 1300 block of Broadway, where they used what’s known as a PIT maneuver — striking the vehicle with a patrol car — to stop Jackson from driving away.
Officers then arrested Jackson and found two handguns in plain view, according to the affidavit. Jackson was the sole occupant of the vehicle and sustained minor injuries when police stopped the vehicle. He was treated and discharged from the hospital.
Police initially reported three people had been injured in the shooting, but later clarified only two people were shot: the driver and the security guard.
Jackson is being held for investigation of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and felony menacing, police said.
According to a Colorado Bureau of Investigations records check, Jackson was arrested in February on two charges of assaulting a peace officer and on Aug. 31 on charges of domestic violence assault and domestic violence kidnapping.
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