Uber suspends driver who shot alleged cop impersonator in Buckhead

Atlanta police responded to the Target on Peachtree Road in Buckhead after a woman shot a man Sunday night. According to police, the woman, a ride-share driver, fired in fear for her safety after being followed by a man claiming to be a police officer.

Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com

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Atlanta police responded to the Target on Peachtree Road in Buckhead after a woman shot a man Sunday night. According to police, the woman, a ride-share driver, fired in fear for her safety after being followed by a man claiming to be a police officer.

Credit: John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com

An Uber driver who shot a man Sunday in presumed self-defense has been suspended from the ride-share platform while the company investigates.

The man she shot, 21-year-old Tyriq Wiggins-Younger, followed the driver about two miles from a motel on Cheshire Bridge Road to a Target store on Peachtree Road in Buckhead, where Atlanta police said he crashed into her car and she shot him multiple times. No charges are pending against the Uber driver, but Wiggins-Younger is facing several charges, including impersonating an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department.

ExploreCops: Ride-share driver shot man after being followed to Buckhead Target

In newly released 911 audio, the Uber driver told authorities she had never seen the man before and thought he was trying to kill her. She is frantic as she stays on the line with emergency dispatchers, screaming when her vehicle is rear-ended several times.

“I’m on Lenox Road,” the woman said as she passed Lenox Square. “They keep following me. I don’t know who this (expletive) is but they keep following me. I’m trying to find a policeman.”

According to police, Wiggins-Younger ran the woman’s Audi A3 off the road and both vehicles crashed on a sidewalk outside Target. The woman can be heard asking the man “who are you?” and “are you a maniac?” as she warns him to stay back. She announces she has a gun and will shoot to kill. She is hysterical.

A single shot rings out, but a male voice continues speaking to the woman.

“You’re not a cop, you crazy (expletive),” the woman said at one point during the 12-minute 911 call, just before a second gunshot is heard.

Police arrived at the Target shortly before 11:45 p.m. and found Wiggins-Younger in the parking deck with three gunshot wounds, one in the back, one in the leg and one in the shoulder. He told officers he was an active member of the LAPD and tried to pull the woman over for a traffic violation. He did not have any identification, and his Chevrolet Cruz was not equipped for lights or sirens, according to a police report.

In addition to the impersonation charge, Wiggins-Younger was arrested on charges of aggravated assault and drug possession. Police found a small plastic bag of suspected cocaine, marijuana and a smoke pipe in his Chevrolet, according to the report.

Atlanta police confirmed Thursday they do not intend to bring charges against the Uber driver, who shot “fearing for her safety” and is considered the victim in this case, according to a department spokesperson. The police investigation remains active.

But carrying a gun while driving for Uber, in violation of the company’s firearms policy, has cost the woman access to the app. No drivers or passengers are allowed to carry guns while using the app.

In metro Atlanta, shootings involving Uber drivers have become commonplace. Earlier this year, a pregnant woman was forced into early labor after College Park police said she was shot by her Uber driver. In 2021, one Uber driver was killed outside a nightclub in Union City, and another was arrested in a separate shooting that killed a passenger at a northeast Atlanta gas station.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Uber said the company has removed app access for the driver in Sunday’s shooting but will re-evaluate her status if she can submit written clearance from law enforcement that she is not being charged.

“The reported details are frightening, and we’re relieved the driver was unharmed,” the spokesperson said. “We’re in touch with the driver as we continue to look into this incident. We’re standing by to assist law enforcement on their investigation.”