Woman who shot Uber driver in West Texas charged with murder after man dies

Phoebe D. Copas believed she was being kidnapped and taken to Mexico, police say
Published: Jun. 22, 2023 at 4:24 PM CDT
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EL PASO, Texas (KWTX) - Police charged Phoebe D. Copas, 48, with murder after the Uber driver she shot, 52-year-old Daniel J. Piedra Garcia, died as a result of the gunshot wounds he suffered when Copas fired a gun at him when she wrongly assumed she was being kidnapped and taken to Mexico, investigators said.

Copas, of Kentucy, was visiting El Paso on June 16 when she called for the Uber ride. The woman allegedly told police she became frightened when she noticed road signs for Juarez, Mexico while she was traveling south on U.S. 54 with the Uber driver.

According to court documents obtained by KFOX-TV, Copas called her boyfriend after the shooting, instead of authorities.

“At some point during the drive, Copas thought she was being taken into Mexico and shot Piedra,” police wrote in a news release. “The investigation does not support that a kidnapping took place or that Piedra was veering from Copas’ destination.”

Piedra’s niece told KFOX-TV she believes stereotypes about the border may have led to her uncle being shot.

Copas is jailed on a $1.5 million bond.