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Woman shoots and kills Uber driver after assuming she was being kidnapped

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Jun 29, 2023 8:16 pm

A woman from Kentucky is facing the consequences of her actions after she shot and killed her Uber driver who she wrongly believed was kidnapping her to Mexico—three weeks after he just got started on his job.

According to a statement by the El Pasco police, the woman, identified as 48-year-old Phebe Copas, had been put behind bars and charged with murder after she shot her Uber driver, Daniel Piedra Garcia, multiple times in the back of the head.

A criminal complaint obtained by the Washington Post detailed that Copas had booked the services of an Uber in order to get to a casino, where she had planned to meet her boyfriend after he got off work. After Piedra picked her up, she allegedly saw a sign for the Mexican city of Juárez at some point during the ride.

Paranoid that she was being kidnapped to another country, Copas didn't bother to at least call the police to alert them of her suspicions. Instead, she took a "silver and brown handgun" from her purse and repeatedly shot the driver.

When authorities arrived at the scene, they immediately called an ambulance for Piedra and rushed him to the hospital, where he had to be put on life support because of his critical condition. However, when doctors told his family that he would never be able to come off life support, they made the difficult decision to let him go.

Didi Lopez, Piedra’s niece, told the local news outlet WBKO, "My aunt didn’t want to see him suffer. But, honestly, we don’t think that we made the decision to disconnect him. That decision was made for him the second that those bullets went into his head."

According to a GoFundMe campaign started by his family, Piedra was the sole provider for his family and was unable to work for a while because he hurt his knee at his last job. 

"He was very happy to finally be able to work and bring home income [only] for this tragedy to happen," his wife Ana wrote.

With regards to Copas' assumption that she was being kidnapped, the police said that "the investigation does not support that a kidnapping took place or that Piedra was veering from Copas’ destination." She is now being held on a $1.5 million (P82.9 million) bond.