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Uber driver shot and killed by 81-year-old Ohio man after both received scam calls, police say

Phone scam leads to deadly encounter
Man charged with murdering an Uber driver after believing she was connected to a scam 03:18

An 81-year-old Ohio man has been charged with murder after allegedly shooting an Uber driver who thought she was picking up a package from the man's house. Both appeared to have been victims of scam phone calls, the Clark County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

The Uber driver, Loletha Hall, was found shot multiple times near 81-year-old William Brock's South Charleston home on March 25. Brock, who had called 911, had an injury to his head and ear and was bleeding when police arrived, according to a police report.

Hall, a Black woman, was taken to a hospital in Dayton, where she died of her injuries. 

Investigators discovered that Brock had earlier received a scam call about an incarcerated relative, which had involved threats and demands for money. 

An unknown man told Brock over the phone he needed to pay $12,000 to get his nephew out of jail, according to a police report. Brock told police the caller threatened to kill him and his nephew if he didn't pay the ransom, the report said.

The same caller, or an accomplice, later hired Hall using the Uber app to pick up a package from Brock's residence, according to investigators. Hall was not aware that Brock had been threatened, the sheriff's office. said.

William A. Brock Clark County Sheriff's Office

"Ms. Hall, suffering from medical conditions and unarmed, made no threats or assaults toward Mr. Brock, and made no demands, other than to ask about the package she was sent to retrieve," the sheriff's office said. 

Brock allegedly held Hall at gunpoint and demanded to know the identities of the people who had called him. He also took Hall's phone and refused to allow her to leave, officials said, adding that Brock did not try to call police at this point.

When Hall tried to get back into her vehicle, Brock allegedly shot her, and there was a "subsequent scuffle at the door of Ms. Hall's vehicle," the sheriff's office said. Brock then allegedly shot her two more times,  before calling 911. 

Brock is charged with murder, which carries a penalty of 15 years to life in prison, court records showed. Police are considering other charges. Brock pleaded not guilty, and bail was set at $200,000, court records showed. 

Officials are still searching for the scam callers. 

"The Clark County Sheriff's Office would like to take the opportunity to again remind residents, especially our older citizens, that no Law Enforcement Agency or Court will make contact with anyone in the manner of this case to solicit cash for bail," the office said, urging residents "to use extreme caution when being contacted unexpectedly by subjects claiming to be relatives incarcerated in a correctional facility."

Uber on Wednesday said it was in touch with law enforcement and committed to supporting the investigation.

"This is a horrific tragedy and our hearts continue to be with Loletha's loved ones as they grieve," a company spokesperson said in a statement, adding that the suspect who ordered Hall's Uber trip has been banned from the app.

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