DENVER — An Uber driver was killed and two other people were hospitalized in what police are calling a random attack in Denver's City Park West neighborhood late Monday night.
Around 9:30 p.m. Monday, 22-year-old Michael Jackson allegedly fired shots at an Uber driver who was completing a ride near the area of E. 17th Ave. and N. Williams St., causing the driver to crash into a tree, according to the Denver Police Department.
The driver and his passenger were taken to the hospital for treatment, but the driver later died from his injuries, police said. The condition of the passenger was not immediately known.
A security guard who saw the crash happen and tried to help was also injured after Jackson shot at him, police said. The guard, whose identity has not yet been released, was shot in the abdomen and remains in critical condition.
Arresting documents unsealed Tuesday state Jackson reportedly threatened to kill the security guard's partner, who was still in the company vehicle, unless he got out. That guard told police it was his first night working for the security company, and he was riding with his trainer when the shooting occurred.
Jackson then reportedly forced the security guard out of the vehicle and drove away. A DPD officer contacted the company and was able to get the GPS location of the stolen car, the affidavit states.
The suspect was later found by police driving the stolen car off S. Broadway and was arrested shortly after near Lincoln St. and E. Colfax Ave. in downtown Denver. He was positively identified from the security guard's dashcam video, which showed the moments leading up to the suspect shooting the security guard, according to the affidavit.
Investigators found two guns in the car, according to the affidavit, one of which they believe was a handgun Jackson allegedly stole from the security guard after shooting him.
None of the people involved in the shooting and carjacking knew each other, according to a preliminary investigation by police.
"It appears, at this time, that the shooting of the rideshare driver was random," a Denver police spokesperson said in a news release Tuesday.
Jackson is in custody on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and felony menacing, according to Denver police. During a court hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 20, his bond was set at $5 million cash-only.
His next court date for a return of filing of charges will be on Sept. 22 at 8:30 a.m.
The Denver District Attorney's Office will make the final decision on what charges the suspect will face.
"The response from the city was quite rapid"
Denver7 spoke Tuesday with Steve Irvine, a resident from the area who said he was startled when he heard the shots fired on Monday night.
"What I heard was several gunshots and then a lot of people running," said Irvine. "I live close to the area, so it was just maybe 10 shots."
Irvine said he's lived in the neighborhood for over 20 years and has felt safe for the most part. He added that officials got to the scene very quickly.
"There's been a few more shootings in the area lately, so maybe if it's an increase, that might be a concern," he said. "I think the response from the city was quite rapid. I don't know if there's anything better they could do."
Suspect has been arrested before, court documents show
Jackson was arrested last month on charges of domestic violence and was ordered to relinquish his firearms, according to court documents. He was later released with a GPS monitor.
Prior to that August incident, the suspect faced charges for allegedly assaulting law enforcement in February of this year. He pleaded not guilty in the case. A sentencing hearing in connection with the February charges is scheduled for Sept. 25, according to court documents.
The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner will release the driver's identity after his official cause of death has been determined and family has been notified.
Editor's note on Sept. 20, 2023: This story has been updated with the suspect's bond hearing amount following a hearing on Sept. 20.