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‘He’s going to kill us:’ Woman says Lyft driver shot her niece in the leg

  • July 11, 2020

The argument started after Henrietta Rice said she had asked the man to let her roll down the window.

On June 24, Rice and her nieces, Rosemarie Elliott and Mae Harris, were in a Lyft on the way back from a family gathering after 3 a.m. It was women’s night, and they had been playing cards and board games including Monopoly.

The vehicle was cold. So Rice said she repeatedly asked, “Sir, can you please let down the window?” The driver, she said, acted like he didn’t hear her. He eventually unlocked them.

From left, Henrietta Rice and her nieces, Rosemarie Elliott and Mae Harris, say a Lyft driver shot at them in York after a family game night on June 24. They shared their story at Farquhar Park in York on Friday.

But suddenly, Rice said, the man started to call her dumb and stupid over and over again. He ordered them out of the vehicle near the intersection of East College Avenue and South George Street in York, Pennsylvania.

Rice said she and Elliott eventually got out. Harris told the driver that she was going to call and ask for a refund from the ride-hailing company. She was momentarily locked inside the vehicle, but then able to step outside. That’s when the man reached down and pulled out a handgun.

“He’s going to kill us,” Rice thought.

Next, he fired once. The bullet hit the curb, and a fragment from the shot struck Harris in the leg.

The driver, Jerry Miller, 51, of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person in the shooting. He’s set to appear for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 13 and is free on $25,000 unsecured bail, according to court records.

When reached, Miller said the York County Public Defender’s Office told him not to talk to reporters. He hasn’t yet been assigned an attorney.

But Miller then stated that he was 51 and has “never, ever, in my entire life been arrested or anything.” He said it was “more than likely” that the National Rifle Association would get involved in the case, but he did not elaborate.

“That’s because the truth isn’t in the police report,” Miller said. “They only got one side.”

The NRA could not be reached by the York Daily Record, part of the USA TODAY Network.

In a statement, Dana Davis, a spokesperson for Lyft, said safety is fundamental.

Jerry Miller, 51, of the 100 block of East Main Street, Newburg, Cumberland County, is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person.

“The behavior described is unacceptable, and a violation of our strict no-weapons policy for both riders and drivers,” Davis said. “Upon becoming aware of the incident, we permanently removed the driver from the Lyft community and reached out to the rider. We stand ready to assist law enforcement.”

Rice said she and her nieces went to a family member’s home after the shooting and met with York City police.

Law enforcement took a report and photographed Harris’ leg. Police told her that justice would be done, Rice recalled on Friday during an interview at Farquhar Park in York, Pa.

Jenni Chavis, an attorney who’s representing the family, said she and her co-counsel, Leticia Chavez-Freed, are exploring all legal options.

Lyft, she said, hired and maintained employment for the driver. That’s even though he was an independent contractor.

Said Chavis: “This individual was shooting at women, and terrorizing them.”

Contact Dylan Segelbaum at 717-771-2102.

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