A man being accused of murder in a Toronto Uber shooting is a convicted drug dealer who is also facing four other charges, according to court documents and Toronto Police.
In a news conference Sunday, Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders offered a timeline of events that took place over the weekend. Investigators say gunmen burst into an Uber passenger’s home and gunned down a man after pulling out a gun and saying, “Do you know who I am?”
Authorities said an argument between the passenger and driver escalated into a shooting.
As details of the fatal shooting unfolded Saturday, passenger Naveed Akram, 25, left his home, stopped at a gas station and called Uber for a ride home, Saunders said.
A man came up to Akram in his car and said, “Do you know who I am?” followed by a loud shot, Akram told CNN on Sunday. He had nowhere to run, so he jumped out of the car and hid.
Akram eventually left the area after receiving a text message from his Uber driver. The driver told him he didn’t know where he was, Akram said.
Saunders said it was at that moment Akram “knew something had happened to him.” Police have said the man in the car had a handgun.
Akram said Uber sent an alert when they contacted him. An alert described what happened and said police would contact him to confirm details. Akram said he was able to send details before police did.
Saunders said Akram was working as an Uber driver and “had nothing to do with this event that’s going on.”
Akram’s home was the last place he knew his driver. He said the driver answered his door, and when Akram said he was waiting outside for Uber, the driver replied “I’m already at work.”
Akram, who was home at the time, said he never even intended to work for Uber. “I was waiting for my family. I did not work for Uber that day.”
Akram is charged with one count of first-degree murder and four counts of attempted murder, Saunders said. His file is being handled by Toronto police because there were multiple victims and multiple victims sustained gunshot wounds, Saunders said.
Akram is being held in custody and is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.
This incident marks the second instance of a shooting inside a ride-hailing car in five days. Two people were injured after being shot inside a Lyft car in Brooklyn, New York on September 1.
Police said it is not known if the shootings are related.
Uber said in a statement: “We’re horrified and saddened by this senseless tragedy. Our hearts and thoughts are with the families of the victims. This senseless act of violence has no place in Toronto.”
– CNN’s Allie Malloy contributed to this report.