Police: Shot fired at Ansley Mall during fight between passenger, rideshare driver

Police say the man was angry that the Uber driver wouldn't give him another free ride after he stopped at Ansley Mall for cigarettes.

ATLANTA — Police are working to identify and find a man wanted for firing a gun into the air near Ansley Mall.

Authorities told Channel 2's Lori Wilson that Thomas Okua, a rideshare driver, was driving Friday morning when he picked up a man and his friend.

Okua dropped the friend off, and the man then asked him to stop at a Chevron so he could buy cigarettes.

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Okua told the man he needed to have his friend request and pay for a new ride, or he was going to have to leave him at the original drop-off spot.

From there, the man got upset.

"He said, 'I'm going to shoot you if you leave me,'" Okua said. "I'll shoot you."

Okua started driving to the Chevron.

"I was prepared yeah, I got my gun," Okua said. Okua had a gun to protect himself, but did not want to use it.


"I knew he was a troubled man," Okua said. "I didn't want to get in a gunfight with a man that didn't have a life. I do have a life, I got a kid, I have my wife."

Okua has only been driving for Uber for four months. He recently retired and decided to drive for extra money.

The Chevron store manager said he recognized the man with the gun. He said he had come into the store three times on the same day earlier this week to buy cigarettes. He said he seemed like a normal customer.

"I'm not going to jeopardize my life for a stupid man like this, so I sped away," Okua said.

After buying cigarettes in the gas station and then allegedly shooting his gun into the air, employees of the Panera Bread at Ansley, who did not want to go on camera, said the man came into the store, ordered lunch and sat down.

Authorities spotted the alleged gunman at a nearby restaurant. When the man saw police, he got up and left the store.

Marvin Jackson, an Atlanta resident, has lived his entire life in Atlanta and said he was not surprised by the news that a man fired a gunshot in the air.

"Nowhere is untouchable anymore, that''s what it is," Jackson said. "Be aware, duck, get out of the way and move on."