A rideshare driver in Nashville, Tennessee was forced to defend himself and a passenger after an 18-year old convicted felon shot at them after feeling “disrespected.” Thankfully, despite the shots fired from almost point-blank range, neither driver nor passenger was hurt. The suspect, 18-year old Jason Johns, Jr., on the other hand, ended up in the hospital.

The victims, a rideshare driver, and his passenger, reported that as the passenger went into Weiss Liquors he held the door open for Johns who gave him an odd look.  When the victims left the liquor store they were followed by Johns to Fatherland Street.  When the rideshare driver stopped to let out his passenger, Johns approached and fired shots toward them from approximately ten feet away.  The rideshare driver returned fire, striking Johns.  Johns fled on foot leaving behind the vehicle he had driven to the scene, a 2014 Nissan Pathfinder that had been reported stolen from a Madison residence on Tuesday.  Neither victim was struck.

As it turns out Johns is no stranger to the law. When he was 15-year old, he was convicted of aggravated robbery, and just last year was arrested for another aggravated robbery after taking a woman’s car at gunpoint. Despite two violent crimes in just three years, Johns was out on the street instead of behind bars at the time of this shooting. Even if Johns was charged as a juvenile in both prior cases, it’s shocking that the second offense last year didn’t land him some serious jail time. At that point he was a 17-year old violent felon, but the system apparently treated him as if he was just a troubled youth who needed a hug instead of consequences for his actions.

I hate to say it, but there’s a chance that the driver and armed citizen is going to face tougher consequences for defending his life and the life of his passenger than Johns will for shooting at them. Both Uber and Lyft prohibit contractors from carrying a firearm while working for the companies, even though the contractor is driving their own vehicle. Doesn’t matter if you’re a concealed carry holder or not, if you’re on the clock for either of these firms, you’re supposed to be unarmed.

So, even if the driver is cleared in this case, as I suspect he will be, the odds are good that he’ll be out of his job. Johns, meanwhile, has already skated on two violent felonies. Will the third time be the charm?  Or will he once again walk free after a slap on the wrist and a stern talking-to by a judge? We’ll try to keep an eye on this case and bring you any updates as it makes its way through the criminal justice system.

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