Lyft driver killed during Dayton robbery ID’d

Credit: Jim Noelker

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Credit: Jim Noelker

A Lyft driver killed during a robbery earlier this week in Dayton has been identified.

Brandon Cooper, 35, of Beavercreek, died Wednesday, according to Montgomery County Dr. Kent Harshbarger. His cause and manner of death have not been determined at this time.

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Four teenagers, ages 15 to 16, accused of shooting and killing Cooper are being held in juvenile detention. Authorities allege the teens summoned the Lyft driver in an attempt to steal his vehicle.

Around 2 a.m. Wednesday, Dayton police officers responded to the 1000 block of Ferguson Avenue after a vehicle’s OnStar reported a possible crash. When the officers arrived they found a man, later identified as Cooper, shot dead inside the vehicle.

The four teens were arrested the same day following a SWAT standoff on Anna Street involving a stolen vehicle. As officers communicated, it was determined the two incidents were connected, Lt. Jason Hall said Wednesday.

“A guy just out trying to earn a living … just a horrible situation,” he said.

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The four suspects were arraigned in juvenile court Thursday. They’re facing two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of aggravated murder. A fifth teen linked to previous robberies with some of the other teens was also arraigned on one count of aggravated robbery.

“There’s been a string of incidents including multiple aggravated robberies of Uber and Lyft drivers,” Montgomery County Assistant Prosecutor Ann Gramza said during one teen’s arraignment.

Lyft issued a statement Wednesday evening in response to Cooper’s death.

“Safety is fundamental to Lyft, and the actions that led to the events of this morning are reprehensible. Our hearts are with the driver’s loved ones during this incredibly difficult time, as well as with an additional driver who was impacted by this behavior. We’ve reached out to law enforcement to offer our assistance with their investigation, and we’ll continue our efforts to combat this senseless violence and help keep drivers safe.”

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