WINTER HAVEN, Fla. –
After a heated exchange of text messages with his girlfriend who was not back, Jason Boek followed a Uber that he thought would take her home on the two-lane road In central Florida, Boek turned his pickup truck in front of the car in the early Tuesday morning.
Uber driver Robert Westlake slammed the brakes.
They narrowly avoided a fall and stopped in the middle
Then Boek jumped out of his truck and headed quickly for Westlake's Hyundai Elantra.
"You know I have a gun?" Boek said and held an object in the air. "You want me to shoot you?"
Bang. With one shot, the Uber driver killed him.
The fatal confrontation that was captured on Westlake's dash camera called the Polk County sheriff a "classic" case, referring to the controversial Florida law that grants immunity to people who act in self-defense.
"This is a legitimate murder case all day long, you have the right to protect yourself," Sheriff Grady Judd said Wednesday. "That was the intention of the law."
Boek, 34, did not actually have a firearm when he left his truck ̵
And Westlake, 38, was not an ordinary Uber driver. He is a licensed armed guard who has a covert gun license and has just trained as a police officer.
Neither Westlake nor Boek's family members were reached for comment on Wednesday.
The sheriff's office said Westlake is cooperating with the investigation. And the sheriff wanted so much to be clear, "Here's a message for the community's hotheads: Do not do that stuff," Judd said. "Good people are carrying guns and they're going to shoot you, very much, cemetery dead."
"He is following his girlfriend & # 39;
Shooting is the latest, high-profile case of "standing your ground" causing controversy. The list includes the deadly shootout of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012 by neighborhood volunteer George Zimmerman and Michael Drejka's fatal shooting of Markeis McGlockton in July at a parking lot in the mall.
Zimmermann was later acquitted in Martins self-defense instead of relying on the law "Stand your ground". Drejka was initially released but was charged with manslaughter
Tuesday's incident began with a case of confusion
At a bar in Dundee, Florida, on the early Tuesday morning, Boek's girlfriend called an Uber for another woman she had her Drinking too much, she helped her get into the vehicle, the police said.
Boek saw her and assumed that his girlfriend had come to the Uber even though she had actually gone to the bar, the sheriff said
A little later, Boek and his girlfriend got into a heated text messaging session.
"The friend is explosive," said Judd, the sheriff. "He's following his girlfriend, he's mad at her, and he tells her, 'I'll live the Uber driver out.'"
Then Boek drove his truck behind the Uber, Judd said.
Boek "follows him a minute, then pulls out next to him, rides beside him for a few seconds … and then starts to pass him, forcing him to stop on the road," Judd said.
About Six Seconds After Boek jumped out of his pickup truck, Westlake shot him, according to police-leaked Dash Cam video.
"Oh my god," Westlake can hear say.
& # 39; He came up to me & # 39;
Westlake then dialed 911 and tried to rescue Boek, the Polk County Sheriff's office said.
"He ran me off the road, jumped out of his vehicle," Westlake calmly said in the emergency call the sheriff's office posted to YouTube. "I could not escape."
"He came up to me screaming, he has a gun and reaches for his waistband."
Westlake said he had fired a shot from a .40 caliber pistol.
"He dropped a cell phone. I threw it away, "Westlake said, first not realizing it was a cell phone.
Westlake told the 911 operator that he was putting pressure on the wound when Boek fainted, shallow breathing.
Boek died at the scene, said the sheriff's office. The authorities found no weapon other than Westlake at the scene, Judd said.
Uber said in a statement, "We are saddened by this unfortunate incident and will continue to cooperate with the police in their investigation."
The company's policies prohibit drivers and passengers from carrying firearms while using the Uber app to the extent permitted by local law.
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