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Afghan Refugee Shot At While Driving for Uber

December 27, 2016


A Sacramento-based Uber driver and Afghan refugee was nearly shot while working a late-night shift in San Francisco, after a man ran toward his car and shot, point blank, through his window.

"I afraid a lot because it's the first time they try to kill me,” said a man, asked to be referred to only as Mohammad (though that is not his real name) for fear of retribution.

When Mohammad came to the U.S. from Afghanistan, he thought he'd be escaping violence. Early Saturday morning, from the front seat of his car, he found himself staring down the barrel of a gun.

"He takes out the gun and he shoots me," Mohammad said. "Fortunately, the bullet just pass from my face.”

He’s from Sacramento, but was driving his Uber near Oak and Gough Streets in San Francisco just before 3 a.m. when he says a man followed him for a few blocks on foot, before running to Mohammad's window and firing. The shooter took off.

A narrow miss, Mohammad says, centimeters from ending his life. Mohammad, who stands at 6 feet 2 inches tall, says he extends his chair back in his car to fit comfortably. That, he says, may have saved his life.

His window, in pieces all over his car. The bullet hole, clearly visible. The shot sent shards of glass from Mohammad's window into the air piercing his face near his eye, sending Mohammad to the hospital.

While there the father of two young boys says he thought of his family, imagining life for them had he been killed. He also thought of something his mother, still in Afghanistan, recently told him.

"'You’re going to stay over there. And I'm happy you're there. You're going to stay away from this dangerous place,'" Mohammad recalled his mother saying. "They feel safer because I'm in a safe place."

San Francisco Police picked up the shooting on their ShotSpotter. Sgt. Michael Andraychak confirmed that Mohammad did file a report, but says the department does not have any suspects or valid descriptions to work from at this time. He says officers looked in the area for a suspect following the shooting, but were unable to find anyone.

A representative from Uber confirms Mohammad made the company aware of the incident. The representative says the company is relieved the driver is okay.

Mohammad is now left to wonder why he was targeted at all.

Fox 40, Sacramento