Ohio man tricked by scam caller shoots and kills Uber driver

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office arrested William Brock, 81, in connection with the shooting of Uber driver Loletha Hall in Ohio last month. He has pleaded not guilty to murder.

An 81-year-old Ohio man has been charged with murder in the death of an Uber driver he thought was trying to rob him after a scam caller deceived them both, authorities say.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call on March 25 from 81-year-old William Brock, who said he had “shot someone attempting to rob him,” according to reporting by The Columbus Dispatch, part of the USA TODAY Network.

Brock, who was arrested on April 10 and has since been charged with murder, shot and killed 61-year-old Loletha Hall, an Uber driver instructed to retrieve a package from Brock’s home in South Charleston, just outside of Dayton, through the Uber app. 

Investigators say that both Brock and Hall were targets of a scam caller, but it was not immediately clear if the calls were placed by the same person. 

“This is a horrific tragedy, and our hearts continue to be with Loletha’s loved ones as they grieve. We have been in contact with law enforcement and remain committed to supporting their investigation,” an Uber spokesperson told USA TODAY on Monday.

USA TODAY has reached out to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office for comment. 

Here’s what to know.

Homeowner confused after scam call, shoots Uber driver

Brock had received a scam call before Hall arrived at his home, investigators told WKEF-TV. The scammer “made threats” and “demanded money” from Brock. 

“Mr. Brock received some scam call by a person purporting to be someone from our courts who informed him a family member was incarcerated and that he had a bond of a significant amount of money,” Lt. Kristopher Shultz of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office told NBC News. “The calls turned from ‘I’m an officer in the court’ to ‘We have this subject hostage, this is a ransom demand.'”

Meanwhile Hall also got a scam call instructing her to pick up a package from Brock’s home through the Uber app. She arrived at the home, stepping out of her car to ask Brock about the package. 

“Ms. Hall did not have any idea,” Shultz told NBC News.

Brock pulled out a gun, demanding she reveal the identity of the person who threatened him over the phone. Brock also took Hall’s cellphone and wouldn’t let her leave, the Dispatch reported. 

Video released by the sheriff’s office to NBC News shows Brock pointing the gun at Hall and following her while she retreats and yells out.

“When she tried to get away, he shot her once, then there was more exchange between them,” Shultz told NBC News. “Mr. Brock was at some point injured to his head, and he shot Ms. Hall a second time. There was more conversation, and then he shot her a third time. Only after he shot her a third time did he then make contact with authorities to report the incident.”

Uber driver taken to hospital, died as a result of the injuries

First responders took Hall to a local hospital, where she died of her injuries.

Brock had minor injuries, hurting his head and ear as he chased after her, the Dispatch reported.

“Due to there being no active threat presented by Hall at any time during the encounter, and Brock’s failure to contact authorities for assistance while brandishing a firearm, during which he fired at and struck Hall multiple times, he was arrested and charged with murder,” according to the Dispatch.

No attorney was listed for Brock on his case in Clark County criminal court. He has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on April 22.

Uber bans scammer’s account, emphasizes importance of driver safety

Uber says they are assisting local enforcement with the investigation, providing information that could help them solve the case. The company also says they have made contact with Hall’s family.

The account of the person who instructed Hall to pick up a package from Brock’s residence has been banned from the platform, Uber said.

Uber says that driver safety is of the utmost importance, citing a number of in-app tools that have been implemented over the last several years to keep all Uber drivers safe, including the emergency button, 911 integration, audio recording, RideCheck, Follow My Ride feature, “Live Help” from a Safety Agent and the newly launched Driver Safety Awareness Center.


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