Uber Driver in Texas Shot by Passenger Fearing Imaginary Kidnapping to Mexico

Phoebe Copas

An Uber driver in Texas was shot by his female passenger, who later justified her actions by stating that she thought he was abducting her to Mexico, as indicated by court records. The driver, 52-year-old Daniel Piedra Garcia, has been in critical condition in the ICU since the incident last Friday, according to local news outlet KTSM.

Phoebe Copas, 48, is now facing serious felony charges of aggravated assault resulting in severe bodily injury. Copas, who was visiting her boyfriend in El Paso from Tompkinsville, Kentucky, ordered an Uber to a local casino, intending to meet her boyfriend after his work shift.

On their way to the casino, Copas noticed traffic signs for “Juarez, Mexico” and became convinced that she was being kidnapped and transported to Mexico. In response, she pulled a “silver and brown handgun” from her purse and allegedly shot Garcia in the head, leading to the vehicle crashing into roadside barriers on US-54 near Loop 375.

However, police records highlight that the scene of the shooting wasn’t near any bridges, ports of entry, or other locations facilitating immediate access to Mexico. The law enforcement investigation has so far found no evidence supporting Copas’s claim of kidnapping or that Garcia deviated from the assigned Uber route.

Copas didn’t immediately call 911 after the incident. Instead, she first sent pictures of the wounded driver to her boyfriend. Her boyfriend arrived at the scene to assist Copas out of the car just as police were arriving.

Uber has publicly expressed their horror at the incident and confirmed that the rider has been banned from their platform, emphasizing their zero-tolerance policy towards violence.

The victim’s family, who are praying for a recovery miracle, revealed that Garcia had only recently started working for Uber following a knee surgery recovery. His wife shared that he was enthusiastic about providing for the family, which makes this tragedy even more heartbreaking.


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