Uber passenger fatally shoots driver in Lynwood, steals vehicle; suspects at large
An Uber driver was fatally shot in an altercation with two passengers in Lynwood early Friday morning, and one of the suspects drove away in the victim's vehicle. Both suspects remain at large.
The driver was found lying on the pavement with a gunshot wound to the torso at a 7-Eleven gas station on the 2800 block of Imperial Highway in Lynwood.
L.A. County sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a shooting at the gas station next to the Imperial Highway onramp to the 105 Freeway just west of Fernwood Avenue at 1:33 a.m., where they found the victim. L.A. County firefighters pronounced the man dead at the scene at 1:51 a.m.
The victim was a man in his 30s who was driving for Uber this morning, according to Sheriff's Homicide detectives. The Uber driver picked up two unidentified men, and they drove to the 7-Eleven gas station.
The driver and the two passengers reportedly got into an altercation, and one of the suspects shot the victim in the upper torso, according to detectives.
One suspect fled on foot. The second suspect reportedly drove away in the victim's vehicle. The unoccupied vehicle was recovered about five miles away. Detectives later said both suspects fled in the vehicle. The exact sequence was still under investigation.
Both suspects remained at large Friday morning.
Investigators were reviewing security camera footage from the store and information from Uber.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
The driver was a Lynwood resident, the sheriff's department said. The man's wife said Aaron Orozco, 38, leaves behind two young children, ages 3 and 9, the older of whom has autism.
Orozco's wife said he had been driving for the past few years, often during the overnight hours. The 38-year-old served in the United States Marine Corps and was deployed in Iraq.
"He was an awesome father, he was great person, very positive. He always made everybody around him happy," said Sandra Medina, Orozco's wife. "He's just a joyful person, just very positive."
An Uber spokesperson released a statement Friday morning: "Our hearts are with Mr. Orozco Figueroa's family as they cope with this unfathomable tragedy, and we have reached out to offer our condolences. We banned the rider's account and are working with police on their investigation."
Uber said the family is eligible for survivor benefits through Intact Insurance.
The 7-Eleven store just opened Thursday, and grand-opening balloons and flags still adorned the exterior Friday morning.
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