Uber driver allegedly fatally shot passenger on interstate

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iStock/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- An Uber driver allegedly shot and killed his passenger in Denver on a major interstate early Friday morning, police said.

The shooting happened as the vehicle drove across a ramp from University Boulevard bridge to southbound Interstate 25 in Colorado's capital city, forcing the temporary closure of the roadway through morning rush hour.

Footage from the scene showed the silver Nissan sedan had crashed into the concrete wall at the end of the entrance ramp, which remained closed.

Investigators believe the driver and his passenger got into an altercation inside the vehicle, according to Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson. The driver allegedly fired numerous shots, wounding the passenger, as the vehicle veered and came to a halt.

The passenger, identified as 45-year-old Hyun Kim, was found slumped over in the passenger seat of the Nissan. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he later died, Jackson said. The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner said an autopsy confirmed Kim died of multiple gunshot wounds.

According to the probable cause affidavit, police handcuffed the driver and found a semiautomatic pistol in his right waist band. The driver began to have trouble breathing and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was treated and released.

Detectives found 10 spent 40-caliber cartridge casings and a blood trail on the left shoulder of Interstate 25 near University Boulevard bridge. They also noticed several suspected bullet holes in the passenger compartment of the Nissan, according to the affidavit.

The driver, identified as 29-year-old Michael Hancock, was arrested for first-degree murder in connection with the early morning shooting. He declined to make any statements to police without an attorney, according to the affidavit.

Jackson said Hancock is a driver for the ride-sharing company Uber. The police spokesman urged witnesses with any information to come forward.

"We do know this person was an Uber driver. We’re going to determine if he was actually on a ride when this happened," Jackson told reporters at a press conference Friday. "We’re going to determine what the relationship was between what appears to be a passenger and a driver prior to this particular ride."

Uber said in a statement that it was "deeply troubled" by Friday's incident. The San Francisco-based company, which said it is working with Denver police, confirmed that Hancock has had access to the Uber app for nearly three years and the shooting appears to have occurred while he was using it.

Hancock's family issued a statement, saying he's a college student and a devoted father of two.

"He is a great dad. He has two kids," the family said in a statement Friday. "He’s a college student. And his big thing is to make the world a better place."

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