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'They went from friend to foe': Uber driver describes deadly shooting of passenger

HOUSTON – When Yahcanon Benyah answered an Uber request last Friday, he didn’t know that he would later watch his passenger die in the back seat of his car.

On Friday afternoon, he said he went to pick up a passenger at Laurel Haven Way and Laurel Creek Drive and watched the two men, James Booker and Neilo Johnson, hug before Johnson got into the back seat.

“All of the sudden, in a blink of an eye, everything changed -- they went from friend to foe,” Benyah said.

READ: Passenger shot, killed during Uber ride in north Harris County

Benyah said that when he pulled away in the car, Johnson walked over and started firing. 

“The gunman didn’t look at me at all, he didn’t speak to me at all, he didn’t make any eye contact at all, he didn’t turn the gun on me at all, he was strictly gunning for the passenger,” Benyah said. “He just very calmly took him out.”

The Uber driver said that he hit the gas pedal and called 911. He said he found a safe spot to pull over near TC Jester Boulevard and Farm-to-Market 1960. 

READ: Man charged in death of Uber passenger 'danger to the community,' prosecutors say

Police said that Booker died in the car and Johnson is charged with his murder.

Benyah said he is not sure if he will continue driving for Uber but is haunted by what happened in the back seat. 

Johnson is due in court July 9.


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