This story was first published at The Reload and is republished with exclusive permission.
A pair of armed robbers are in the hospital after a Lyft driver shot them during a carjacking.
The ordeal took place on Monday in West Philadelphia. Two carjackers rear-ended the driver in broad daylight while transporting a female passenger. As the driver got out to check the damage, one of the robbers pulled a rifle on him and demanded the driver give them the car. The Lyft driver convinced the carjackers to let him get the passenger out of the car before they attempted to steal it.
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Once the robber armed with the rifle stopped pointing it at the driver and attempted to take the car, the driver pulled his own legally-concealed gun and shot both the assailants. The two men fled the scene but didn’t make it more than a few blocks before seeking medical attention. The driver and passenger were unharmed.
Philadelphia police said the two men shot by the driver are in police custody at a local hospital.
“This 38-year-old Lyft driver, after being rear-ended and carjacked, he pulled his weapon and fired shots at both vehicles,” Chief Inspector Scott Small told Fox 29. “He struck both of these individuals, and now they’re both at the hospital as prisoners.”
Small said the driver is lucky to be alive.
“This was a very dangerous situation,” he told the news station. “Fortunately, our Lyft driver, our victim, wasn’t shot. He had a rifle put to him. Our Lyft driver had a weapon that he used, and he shot both of the perpetrators.”
Fox 29 reporter Steve Keeley said the attack is indicative of many happening in Philadelphia and cities across the country, such as a recent attack in Chicago on the majority leader of the Illinois Senate. He said delivery drivers are increasingly looking to arm themselves for protection as they face new and dangerous tactics from brazen criminals willing to attack even, as this case demonstrates, in front of witnesses during the daytime.
“This case again illustrates why so many food delivery drivers, pizza drivers, Uber, and Lyft drivers are all running to gun stores and getting legal guns,” he said of the incident. “Because this is what’s happening on a daily basis all around the country and here in Philadelphia.”
The names of the driver, passenger, and suspected robbers have not been made public.
While the driver emerged unscathed from the attack, he may have trouble with Lyft itself. The ride-share company has a policy against carrying weapons during a Lyft ride.
While the driver emerged unscathed from the attack, he may have trouble with Lyft itself. The ride share company has a policy against carrying weapons during a Lyft ride.
“Our ‘No Weapons’ policy applies when you are doing business as a representative of Lyft, which includes times that you are driving for Lyft, as well as times that you are visiting a Lyft Hub.,” the company’s website says. “At a minimum, a ‘weapon’ includes any form of firearm. There are many items that could be considered weapons besides firearms, such as handguns, stun guns, explosives, knives, sling shots and tasers. Lyft reserves sole judgment on what else may constitute a ‘weapon.’”
Lyft has previously said the policy applies even in situations where carrying a gun is otherwise legal. It said anyone caught with a gun could be banned for life from using the service.
“We have a strict no-weapons policy, violation of which can result in a permanent ban from Lyft’s service,” Alexandra LaManna, Lyft senior manager of communications, told The Denver Post in 2018. “The safety of the Lyft community is our top priority, and we have worked hard to implement policies and procedures to ensure its safety.”
Lyft did not respond to a request for comment on whether they planned to ban the driver over his self-defense shooting.
Stephen Gutowski is an award-winning journalist who reports on firearms policy and politics at The Reload. He has appeared on the cover of Time Magazine and his work has been featured in every major news publication across the ideological spectrum from Fox News to The New York Times and beyond.