Woman describes hearing shots that killed fiance in trial of Uber Eats driver

Testimony wrapped up for the day Wednesday in the trial of an Uber Eats driver accused of killing a customer.

The jury saw surveillance video of what led up to the fatal gunshots.

Channel 2’s Tyisha Fernandes was in the courtroom Wednesday when the fiancee of Ryan Thornton, Jerica Jones, talked about hearing the shots that killed him and then watched Thorton die in front of her.

“Maybe 30-40 seconds after Ryan left I heard gunshots,” Jones said.

She said she and Thorton decided to have some food delivered the night of Feb. 17 using the Uber Eats app.

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Most read

  1. 1 Quinn on 4-9 Falcons: ‘There’s definitely disbelief&
  2. 2 Atlanta celebrates a rarity - parade for champ sports team
  3. 3 Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams ends engagement to past

They requested that the driver, Robert Bivines, bring the food upstairs but Bivines called and said he was not coming up.


“I laughed, turned around and said, ‘He’s not coming up?’ and we kinda joked about it because that’s something that Uber delivery drivers had done before,” Jones said.

Thornton went downstairs to grab the food. Surveillance video shows him getting the food and exchanging some words with Bivines.

Whatever was said, it made Thornton walk back toward Bivines' white car.

“Mr. Bivines felt at that time, 'My life is in danger.' He had his hand in his pocket and it was not just his physical action, it was his words. He said, ‘I am gonna F you up,’” attorney Jackie Patterson said.

Moments later, Bivines admitted he shot Thornton four times and left the scene.

Thornton had enough strength to call his fiancee.

“I hear Ryan’s voice crackling, saying, 'Don’t panic. I’ve been shot,' and that’s the last time I ever spoke to him,” Jones testified.

The jury has to decide what state of mind Bivines was in at the time of the shooting.

“You have to decide whether he was acting in self-defense at the time that he pulled the trigger with reason to believe that his life was in danger, or about to be taken, or whether simply he just murdered Mr. Thornton in cold blood,” Patterson said.

Day No. 2 of the trial starts Thursday morning when Bivines is expected to take the stand.

More from AJC