A Kentucky Woman Visiting Texas Wrongly Thought Her Uber Driver Was Kidnapping Her to Mexico, So She Pulled a Gun From Her Purse and Shot Him: Cops

kentucky woman thought uber driver kidnap fatally shot him
Source: El Paso Police Department; GoFundMe

Jun. 27 2023, Published 12:08 p.m. ET

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A woman in Kentucky believed she was being kidnapped and taken to Mexico by her West Texas Uber driver, so she allegedly shot him to death, according to authorities.

On June 16, Daniel Piedra Garcia, 52, was driving 48-year-old Phoebe Copas to a location in far southeast El Paso when the shooting occurred, WABC-TV reported. Authorities said Copas, who is from Tompkinsville, Kentucky, was in El Paso visiting her boyfriend.

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Copas claimed she believed Garcia was trying to kidnap her and take her to Mexico. She then grabbed a handgun from her purse and shot Piedra in the head, causing the vehicle to crash into barriers on the highway, court records state.

The El Paso Police Department said the area where the car crashed was “not in close proximity of a bridge, port of entry or other area with immediate access to travel into Mexico.”

Police said, “The investigation does not support that a kidnapping took place or that Piedra was veering from Copas’ destination.”

According to officials, Copas took a photo of Piedra after the shooting and texted it to her boyfriend.

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Piedra was hospitalized for several days, but his family took him off life support after doctors told them he would not recover, WABC-TV reported.

Didi Lopez, Piedra’s niece, said, "He was a hardworking man and really funny. He was never in a bad mood. He was always the one that, if he saw you in a bad mood, he'd come over and try to lift you up,” WABC-TV reported.

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Copas was arrested and originally charged with aggravated assault, but the charge was upgraded to murder after Piedra died, officials said.

She is being held on a $1.5 million bond.


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