Marine vet shot dead at 38
A U.S. Marine Corps veteran who was working as a Uber rideshare driver was shot and killed by one of his passengers late Friday night in the Los Angeles, California area.
The 38-year-old Aaron Orozco was shot in the torso and left to die in a 7-Eleven parking lot while his vehicle was stolen following an altercation with his two passengers, the Daily Mail reported.
The Marine veteran who served three combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq leaves behind a wife, Sandra, and two young children, and was said to be working as an Uber driver late at night to help take care of the family while his wife worked as a nurse.
Shot and left for dead, car stolen
The Daily Mail reported that according to the police, Orozco had picked up two passengers described as black males late Friday evening and made a stop at the 7-Eleven convenience store for some unknown reason.
Per the police and witness testimony from a store clerk, the driver and his passengers were then "involved in a physical altercation" that ended when Orozco was shot and dumped in the parking lot while one of the suspects stole the vehicle and the other fled the scene on foot.
The stolen car was later found abandoned a short distance away and police are continuing to investigate the incident and search for the two suspects.
"It just seems like I'm in a nightmare"
L.A.'s Fox 11 News reported that Orozco's wife Sandra said of her murdered husband, "We were married for 10 years, but we’ve been together since high school, high school sweethearts."
"I haven't even told my kids yet, they still think dad is going to come through the door," she said of their two young children.
Sandra said that Orozco had been driving for Uber for four years and had never previously had any trouble with his passengers, and added, "It just seems like I'm in a nightmare. It doesn't seem real to me."
Uber assisting family, local law enforcement
Fox News reported that Uber has extended its condolences to Orozco's family and is cooperating with the law enforcement investigation of the tragic murder of one of its drivers.
"Our hearts are with Mr. Orozco Figueroa’s family as they cope with this unfathomable tragedy, and we have reached out to offer our condolences," the rideshare company said in a statement. "We banned the rider’s account and are working with police on their investigation."
Uber further explained that the grieving family was eligible to receive survivor benefits through an insurance company.
The company also revealed that it had dispatched what it calls its Public Safety team, which is comprised of former law enforcement officers and paralegals, to work alongside and provide any assistance necessary in the local police investigation of Orozco's murder.
Fundraiser to support family
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe account has been established on behalf of Orozco's wife Sandra to help cover the costs of his funeral and provide for their two young children -- a 9-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter.
That fundraiser, first set up five days ago, had an initial goal of raising $20,000 for the family, but as of Thursday afternoon, it had already greatly exceeded that target and had raised more than $94,000 from more than 1,500 separate donations.
Fox News noted that Sandra, in an interview with a local ABC affiliate, said of the police and the men who murdered her beloved husband, "I just hope that they find them because they created this chaos in my life and my family's life."
"And, you know, now I don't have my husband with me. And, it has just changed my life around so much. So, I really hope that they do catch them," the aggrieved widow added.