Rideshare driver critically wounded in attempted carjacking after passenger drop-off on West Side

Thursday, January 4, 2024
2nd rideshare driver shot in 1 week in Austin
The second rideshare driver was shot in 1 week in Austin.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A rideshare driver was critically wounded in a shooting and attempted carjacking on the West Side just after dropping off a passenger Wednesday night, Chicago police said.

The shooting occurred at about 10:10 p.m. in the 900-block of North LeClaire Avenue in the city's Austin neighborhood.

Police said the 51-year-old Uber driver was approached by three men when he had just finished dropping off a passenger.

CPD said the men took the driver's phone and told him to get out of the car. That's when CPD said the driver refused and was shot in the chest before being rushed to Mt. Sinai Hospital in critical condition.

Rashad, a neighbor who lives near the shooting, said he heard a single gunshot and then heard screaming.

"I seen him in the middle of the street, he was just holding his chest area," he said. "By the time I looked out the window, his car was empty. He was just standing out his car with the door wide open."

This all comes after Chicago police recently issued a warning to rideshare drivers about armed robberies during passenger drop-offs or pick-ups.

"At the end of the day, we got kids, elders on this block, so there's just a lot going on that we need to get rid of," Rashad said.

Wednesday night's shooting comes a week after a Lyft driver was targeted and killed during a robbery in that same neighborhood.

On Dec. 26 near West Thomas Street, the 34-year-old woman was found dead in her driver's seat with a gunshot wound to the head.

Police say her vehicle crashed into two parked cars on the street, and witnesses told police that they saw a man and woman run from her vehicle after the shooting.

"Something has to change, but I mean what can you do at the end of the day?" Rashad said. "You can't stop everything from happening."

Concern is building among rideshare drivers across Chicago.

These two shootings add to a list of armed robberies targeting rideshare drivers.

Police reported at least seven other incidents across the West Side in December.

That trend now has the Chicago Gig alliance demanding more safety measures from rideshare companies.

"This is obviously an ongoing issue, and, you know, people are afraid it could be them or someone they love or care about next. So yeah, It's very sad day," said Lori Simmons, with the Gig Alliance.

No one is in custody in connection with the shooting, and Area Four detectives are investigating.

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