Uber's hiring process may face scrutiny following a fatal shooting which is alleged to have been perpetrated by one of its Uber Eats delivery drivers during a delivery in Atlanta on Saturday. According to the source, the driver for the company who was listed for the order in question, 36-year-old Robert Bivines, has since turned himself in. The shooting occurred during a relatively routine delivery placed by Ryan Thornton with a local eatery for which Bivines was the driver. Surveillance footage at the delivery location reportedly shows what looks like a verbal confrontation after Thorton had begun to walk away. When Thorton walked back to the delivery vehicle, four shots were fired through the driver window and into his abdomen. Thorton managed to call his girlfriend for help but later died at Grady Memorial Hospital.
Uber has released a statement about the crime, stating that the company is "shocked and saddened" by the violence. The company's statement goes on to say that it is cooperating with the Atlanta Police Department and has revoked Bivines access to the application. However, if the source's information about Bivines' previous records is accurate, those statements may not be enough for some. According to the source, Bivines had been in trouble with the law before – entering a guilty plea to a charge of battery in May 2010, in a case that initially included assault charges. That may or may not have any bearing on this new case but Uber was not aware of those charges at all since their background checks only go back seven years. Bivines had only been working for the company for approximately a week when the incident occurred. While it's unlikely that anybody would actually blame the company for actions of an employee there were ultimately out of its hands, Uber may need to review its hiring policies if it wants to maintain trust in the viability and safety of its services.
Jackie Patterson, who is acting as Bivines' attorney in the matter, claims that the video doesn't show the whole story and that Thorton was threatening the driver and making motions toward his pockets. Patterson says that Thorton was upset about the delivery time and that Bivines felt that he had no choice but to defend himself. Unfortunately, there isn't likely to be any more information and the situation isn't likely to become any more clear until after the case goes to court. The first date for proceedings is set for February 20.