18-year-old charged with capital murder in shooting death of Uber driver during carjacking, HPD says

KTRK logo
Friday, July 7, 2023
18-year-old charged in murder of Uber driver during robbery, HPD says
According to court documents, a trail of information from the rider's Uber account eventually led investigators to the 18-year-old suspect.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An 18-year-old has been charged in the shooting death of an Uber driver in southwest Houston.

Charles Anthony Hudson is charged with capital murder in the death of 43-year-old Uber driver Hector Torres.

Houston police were dispatched to a shooting call in the 2900 block of Trail Lake Drive near Orem Drive on May 27.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Man driving for Uber has car stolen seconds after being shot by suspect in SW Houston, police say

The man's car was found just one street over from where the shooting happened. Police have not found who is responsible.

At the scene, officers found Torres with multiple gunshot wounds. Before he lost consciousness, he was able to give a limited suspect description and told officers he had been robbed while providing an Uber ride.

HPD said Torres never regained consciousness to provide further details and was pronounced dead at Memorial Hermann Hospital two days later, on May 29.

An autopsy determined his manner of death was homicide, and the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Investigators found Torres' car abandoned nearby in the 2900 block of Knotty Oaks Trail, police said.

According to charging documents, HPD filed an emergency request with Uber to pull information about the rider.

Uber told them the name on the account used to request the fatal ride, but that raised questions for HPD because the man who owned the account and his cell phone had been in the Harris County Joint Processing Center since the week before Torres' death.

HPD later determined that someone else had gained access to the jailed man's Uber account and used it to request the May 27 ride. According to Uber, the account was made in 2020 but hadn't been used prior to May 27, 2023.

Thanks to more Uber and cell phone data, investigators were able to determine that the phone used to request the Uber ride spent a significant amount of time at a residence on Tidewater Drive, according to court documents.

HPD determined that the Tidewater address was associated with Hudson, who they previously arrested in January 2023. During another run in with law enforcement, officers reportedly found him in possession of the iPhone 12 that was used to request the Uber ride.

Hudson was arrested for the deadly shooting on Wednesday, July 5. He's scheduled to appear in court next week.

READ MORE: Police investigate string of robberies targeting rideshare drivers in Houston

ABC13 looks into the uptick in crimes against ride share drivers in the area.

Three other people are in custody for their alleged involvement in a crime spree targeting rideshare drivers over the past month.

ABC13 found at least four robbery cases involving rideshares in June.

Uber released the following statement regarding the latest crimes:

"The details of these attacks are distressing, and we continue to be in close touch with law enforcement to support their investigation. The safety of drivers is a top priority, and we're committed to investing in critical safety features, including an in-app emergency button, GPS tracking on every trip, and the ability for drivers to share their location in real-time with loved ones."