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Passenger Opens Fire: Uber driver fights to get his car fixed

Posted: Sep 17, 2016 1:22 AM CDT

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A passenger took aim at his Uber driver, but miraculously escaped the bullets that hit his car multiple times.

Brandon Williams said he is lucky to be alive after his Uber passenger opened fire on him while trying to do a good deed that did not go unpunished.

"He left his phone in my car charging in the back seat. It was an UberPOOL, another passenger picked it up, I answered it and assured him I was going to return it," said Williams.

Before Williams could return the phone, another passenger found the phone and posted disparaging remarks on the alleged shooters Twitter account.

Williams said he did not realize it until he arrived to the Valencia Park home.

The former Uber passenger began shooting at Williams.

"He shot about five times. A couple of bullets went through the glass. Three of the bullets went into my car. He was aiming at my head and fortunately I have very thick seats and the bullets got lodged in the second and third row seats."

Police arrested a 16-year-old, and his case is still making its way through the courts.

In the meantime, Williams tried to file a claim with Uber's insurance provider - James River Insurance Company- which covers drivers while logged into the app.

"They do not want to cover my medical expenses or my car at all. I am basically out defenseless with the wolves essentially," said Williams.

James River Insurance's coverage matches a driver's personal policy while driving for Uber. William's policy, however, denied his $17,000 claim.

William's insurance said he is not covered for commercial driving - so James River Insurance followed the same footsteps as his insurance.

Uber directed questions about the denial from CBS News 8 to James River Insurance - James River Insurance did not have an after-hours contact.

Uber said it has suspended Williams from driving after the incident until his car is repaired.

"I don't think I'll ever do any taxi or service or anything of that nature - it's too dangerous. My mother made me promise. She said jokingly - Uber is not going to send me flowers if you are killed driving for them - it's not worth it," he said.

While Williams continues to appeal the insurance decision he is also trying to receive restitution from the shooter's family. That process could take some time as the case makes its way through the courts - until then he and his car are off the road.