Gunman Hails Uber to Use as Getaway Vehicle After Shooting up Indiana Trailer Park

When you fire shots at random into a neighborhood, it’s probably best not to lean on a rideshare to make your escape.

byJames Gilboy| UPDATED Jun 6, 2019 1:14 PM
Gunman Hails Uber to Use as Getaway Vehicle After Shooting up Indiana Trailer Park

Police in the town of Portage, Indiana have arrested an armed man accused of firing shots into mobile homes before attempting to flee via a hired Uber rideshare.

According to a post on the Portage Police Department’s Facebook page, 20-year-old Issa Amer Ishtawi forced entry to a mobile home in the early afternoon of Tuesday, June 4. This building was occupied by 44-year-old James Burton and 72-year-old Jackie Bernhardt, who were being visited by 32-year-old John Tyler. Ishtawi fired at least one shot, and took Burton outside with him before firing three additional shots into the side of the mobile home. One struck Tyler in the foot, and another passed through it and a neighboring home before coming to a stop in a third mobile home.

Ishtawi then allegedly fled eastward and, at 12:55 p.m., police received a call reporting the incident. Medical responders treated Tyler while officers established a large perimeter, along the edge of which Officer Trent Howard spotted an Uber occupied by a man fitting the suspect's description. Officer Howard stopped the vehicle, driven by one Steve Conger, who was transporting Ishtawi as his passenger.

Authorities pulled Ishtawi from the vehicle and searched his backpack, where they claim to have found a large bag of marijuana. Failing to find the weapon, the police searched Conger's vehicle and uncovered a loaded .40 caliber Glock stashed beneath the passenger seat. Conger, reportedly cooperative, denied that the weapon was his, while statements reportedly made by Ishtawi led enforcement to believe the gun was his. Police say they will conduct tests on the weapon to verify whether Ishtawi was its owner.

Ishtawi was booked into jail on six charges: battery, aggravated battery, intimidation, criminal recklessness with a handgun, possessing a firearm without a permit, and possessing marijuana.