AVENTURA, FLA. (WSVN) - - Police are investigating after an Uber driver shot and killed a person who was attempting to rob him in Aventura, early Sunday.
According to Aventura Police, an Uber driver, later identified as 29-year-old Namique Anderson, picked up a customer who lives just off the William Lehman Causeway to take him to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, just before 5 a.m.
Investigators said Anderson’s black Toyota sedan was cut off by a gray Dodge Caravan along the 3500 block of Northeast 192nd Street. “They made a U-turn underneath the causeway and were traveling on Northeast 192nd Street,” said Aventura Police Sgt. Chris Goranitis. “That’s when the Dodge Caravan cut them off.”
“The driver of the Caravan exited the vehicle. He had two firearms in his hand; he pointed them at the Uber driver and demanded items,” said Goranitis. “He threatened to shoot him if he didn’t [comply] with those demands.”
However, Anderson, who has a concealed weapons permit, went straight for his gun. “He shot that subject four times. He was pronounced deceased on the scene,” said Goranitis.
Area resident Andre Carpenter said he heard gunfire. “I just heard like five gunshots,” he said. “I was like, ‘It’s not the holiday,’ and I’m like, ‘Where did it come from?'”
Police said a passenger inside the Caravan jumped into the driver’s seat and took off.
No one else was hurt.
On Monday, police identified the subject as 24-year-old Kevin DeVincent Johnson. They said the suspect had robbed someone else an hour before his fatal shooting.
Investigators said Anderson acted in self-defense when he opened fire.
The shooting left area residents dumbfounded. “Honestly I feel really shocked. I can’t believe this has happened during the holiday season,” said Sandra Tuman.
Traffic was backed up along the Lehman Causeway all Sunday morning as detectives worked the scene.
“You have to be careful,” said Carpenter. “You have to be very aware of your surroundings nowadays.”
Police pulled Anderson and his passenger in for questioning.
Sunday afternoon, investigators recovered the Caravan in Broward County. They did not specify where they found the vehicle, but did say a tip led them to it after what they described as a random armed robbery attempt.
They have impounded the minivan, which was an overdue rental.
Investigators are interviewing a person of interest, but they did not specify whether it was the second person in the minivan.
Speaking with reporters on Monday, Goranitis said he doesn’t believe Anderson was targeted because he was an Uber driver. “This appears that it was just a random crime of opportunity,” he said. “It’s 5 o’clock in the morning. There probably weren’t that many cars out.”
The Uber driver will not face any charges. “It’s a blessing that he was able to defend himself,” said Carpenter. “Unfortunately, someone lost their life but, you know, it’s just a bad situation. You’ve got to be careful.”
Uber company policy prohibits both drivers and passengers from carrying firearms.
Tuman, however, said that this is one case where the driver should get a pass. “That guy did what he had to do,” she said. “Obviously, he’s not going to get robbed by this guy.”
Uber has not replied to 7News’ calls for comment.
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