NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It was nothing short of a terrifying moment for Barbra Ross, an Uber driver. She was out on the job, when suddenly she had a gun in her face, as masked teenagers demanded she get out of her vehicle.
“I’m literally staring down the barrel of a gun and all I can think is, this is it,” remembered Ross. “You go to sleep, see the gun still. Like it’s all, it’s all there.”
Ross says at times it feels like a dream, but then thinking back she is reminded of just how real the crime was. Days after being carjacked at gunpoint, she still has trouble sleeping.
She told News 2, that the day started like any other, traveling from Murfreesboro into Nashville to take passengers. Then she received a notification that would change her life. As Ross pulled up to carry her passenger to the next location, she noticed another person in a nearby bush, but at the time, Ross never registered danger.
“I reached over to grab my stuff out of the seat and when I looked up to greet him, he had his gun pointed right on my face right between my eyes,” Ross remembered. “At that point, I put my hands up and I froze.”
Ross said it was at that point that she told the suspect that he could have everything in the car. Then, as she went to exit the car, another suspect was at her door.
“I turned to get out, and when I did, the other guy put the gun to my forehead,” Ross said.
She would later find out her car ended up on Murfreesboro Pike after teens crashed her vehicle into a utility pole. Three teenagers, ages 17, 16 and 15 were arrested. According to police, the license plate on the car was stolen from a Lexus that was also carjacked. Police reported finding a pistol underneath the car after one of the suspects allegedly threw it under.
“I couldn’t see them but I will never forget their voices in my head and I was like I’m telling you these kids are between 16 and 18, 20 being max,” Ross remembered telling officers when she called the police.
Ross is now urging for Uber to change some of its safety procedures.
“If they would have followed safety protocols and had reached out and didn’t get a response from me or even if they did and yet my car is still sitting there, could have been like, hey we really got to do something,” Ross said.
For one, Ross explained minors are not allowed to request a ride through the app. So, how did these three teens order one? News 2 reached out to Uber, and a spokesperson for the company explained drivers who pull up and see someone underage can notify the company and immediately cancel the ride. The rider’s account will then be de-activated.
Still, Ross said she plans on advocating for change, after her life was altered, “I leave my home every day, and say, let me come home safe, thinking accidents and stuff like that, you don’t think”
In an official statement, an Uber spokesperson said, “What the driver experienced was terrifying, and we are thankful she wasn’t hurt. We are grateful to the investigators for their swift action that led to the arrests of the individuals involved.”