In a shocking incident, a teenager from Seattle allegedly shot an Uber driver at point-blank range, stole his car, and used it for personal activities, including visiting her family, getting a hair makeover, and smoking marijuana at a beach. The victim, 52-year-old Amare Geda, a father of two, was found lifeless in the SODO neighborhood of Seattle in the early morning hours of August 8.
Two days after the incident, the Seattle Police Department apprehended an 18-year-old suspect, identified by local media as Neiana Allen-Bailey. Currently, Allen-Bailey is being held at the King County Jail on a homicide charge with bail set at $2 million. According to the police, Allen-Bailey was not a customer of the rideshare service but had allegedly shot Geda in a random encounter.
This tragic event marks the second time a rideshare driver has been killed on duty in Seattle within a year. Last September, a Lyft driver, 48-year-old Mohamed Kediye, was fatally shot while on his route near the Amazon Spheres. These violent incidents occur amidst a reported surge in crime in Seattle, with a 24% increase in homicides last year and a 4% rise in overall crime.
After Geda’s murder, the police managed to locate the suspect by issuing an alert for Geda’s stolen 2014 Toyota Prius. The car was discovered parked on a street that was closed for a street fair in South Lake Union. When the teenager returned to the car, she was arrested. Initially, she claimed to have purchased the vehicle on an app, but later confessed to shooting Geda, alleging that he had punched her during a physical altercation. However, surveillance footage contradicted her account, showing Geda standing outside his car for about seven seconds before he was shot.
Allen-Bailey reportedly spent two and a half days driving the stolen car, visiting family, buying and smoking marijuana, getting her hair done, and even refueling the car. Despite her absence in court, Geda’s family attended the hearing. The prosecuting attorney revealed that Allen-Bailey had also confessed to an unrelated robbery committed the previous month.
Ahmed Mumin, Executive Director of the Seattle Rideshare Association, described Geda as an Ethiopian immigrant and one of the first Uber drivers in Seattle. Geda had been working two jobs for the past 14 years to support his family, driving at night and working at the airport during the day. A GoFundMe campaign for Geda’s family has raised over $70,000.