A Kentucky woman accused of shooting an Uber driver in El Paso, Texas, after believing she was being kidnapped, has been charged with murder after the driver succumbed to his injuries.
On June 16, Phoebe Copas, 48, of Tompkinsville, Kentucky was in an Uber driven by 52-year-old Daniel Piedra Garcia.
The El Paso Police Department said a preliminary investigation found Copas was heading to El Paso’s Mission Valley, and at some point, she thought she was being taken into Mexico.
According to an arrest affidavit, Copas began seeing signs to “Juarez, Mexico,” which is located across the U.S.-Mexico border from El Paso.
Fearing she was being kidnapped and taken to Mexico, the affidavit notes, Copas allegedly grabbed a handgun from her purse and shot Piedra in the head.
Piedra’s vehicle came to a stop after crashing into barriers on a freeway, though it was not close to a bridge or port of entry into Mexico.
In a news release, police said the investigation does not support that a kidnapping happened or that Piedra went off track from Copas’ destination.
Copas allegedly took a picture of Piedra after the shooting and texted it to her boyfriend, police said.
Copas was visiting her boyfriend in El Paso at the time of the shooting.
Piedra was taken to an area hospital and kept on life support for several days.
His family ultimately decided to take him off life support when doctors told them he would not recover.
Copas was originally charged with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury and held on $1 million bond.
Piedra died after being taken off life support, and Copas’ charges were upgraded to murder and bond was set at $1.5 million.
In a statement to the El Paso Times, Piedra’s niece, Didi Lopez, described her uncle as a “hardworking” and “really funny” man.
“He was never in a bad mood,” she told the publication. “He was always the one that, if he saw you in a bad mood, he’d come over and try to lift you up.”
Piedra’s family set up a GoFundMe campaign because he was their sole provider and recently started working after being injured in a previous job.
Uber did not immediately respond to inquiries on the matter.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.