Denver Police Department detectives, foreground, investigate near where a Nissan sedan, top left, being driven by an Uber driver crashed into a retaining wall along Interstate 25 south of downtown Denver early Friday, June 1, 2018.

David Zalubowski/AP

Published 09:52 a.m. | Updated 5:31 p.m.

An Uber driver fatally shot a man in a car on a Denver interstate early Friday morning after some kind of altercation.

Hyun Kim, 45, was shot shortly before 3 a.m. on Interstate 25 and later died at the hospital. The driver, identified as 29-year-old Michael Hancock, was also treated and released early Friday from the hospital for unspecified injuries, police spokesman Sonny Jackson said.

Denver Police later announced that Hancock had been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder in the shooting on an interstate.

 

Hancock told a witness that he opened fire after his customer tried to attack him, police said. Kim was found lying on the floor board of the car's front passenger seat. The witness called 911 and passed the phone to Hancock, who identified himself to the dispatcher, a partially redacted police report said.

Police said Hancock had trouble breathing after officers arrived, placed him in handcuffs and removed a semi-automatic pistol from his waistband.

Uber said in a statement that it has removed Hancock's access to its app and that it is "deeply troubled" by the shooting.

"Our thoughts are with the families of those involved. We will continue working closely with police," it said.

Uber policy bars riders and drivers from carrying firearms except in states that expressly prohibit companies from banning guns.

Colorado allows drivers to carry firearms to protect themselves and their property. However, Uber spokesman Andrew Hasbun said the company's policy applies in the state.

Hancock hasn't been charged, and it's not yet clear if he has a lawyer. The results of the investigation will be turned over to prosecutors, who will decide whether to file any charges, Jackson said. Court records show Hancock has had a few traffic tickets but no criminal record in Colorado.

The silver sedan the two were riding in crashed into a wall at the end of an onramp. A sport utility vehicle with its doors open was also stopped nearby, but Jackson said that vehicle was not involved in the shooting.

Police said Kim was shot numerous times and 10 spent cartridges were found on the shoulder of the interstate, across the lanes of traffic from the wall of an onramp where Hancock's silver sedan crashed head on.