Amazon subcontractor held on $1.5 million in shooting of Uber driver outside Stratford Amazon facility
A subcontracted truck driver for Amazon was arraigned Friday in the shooting of his Uber driver outside the Amazon facility in Stratford.
Anthony Vann, 26, of Bridgeport, is charged with attempted murder, accused of opening fire because he was upset about his drop-off location.
According to the police reports, Vann briefly went to work after the shooting before turning himself in.
Vann appeared at Bridgeport Superior Court in a Tyvek suit since his clothes are part of the evidence collected by Stratford police.
They responded to a parking lot near the Amazon facility on Long Beach Boulevard around 10:30 a.m. Thursday after calls came in about a man shooting into a vehicle.
The victim was hit five times, including in his neck, chest, and thigh, according to the police reports.
“A witness did observe those shots being made as well as Mr. Vann attempting to pick up those shell casings on the ground,” Dep. Assistant State’s Attorney James Rotondo told the court.
While officers were securing the scene, Vann called 911 and identified himself as the shooter, saying he shot his Uber driver in self-defense, the police reports said. But Rotondo called the attack “completely unprovoked.”
According to the police reports, the victim told investigators he was driving Vann to work when they got into an argument because Vann asked to be dropped off mid route which the driver couldn't do. The victim said he proceeded to the parking lot next to Amazon where Vann continued to argue and demand he stop the car.
Vann allegedly asked him, "Why did you go this way? Do you want to fight?" the police reports said. The victim told police that’s when Vann got out and opened fire.
The victim said he tried to speed away and that at no time did he fight back or use any type of weapon against the suspect.
“Mr. Vann does display an extreme risk to public safety, Your honor,” Rotondo told the judge, arguing for a high bond.
Assistant Public Defender Kim Mendola countered that Vann has no prior criminal history. Mendola also said Vann was licensed to carry the three guns he had on him.
Judge Maria del Pilar Gonzalez said normally not having a record would weigh in favor of the defendant, but “the seriousness of the offense greatly outweighs the lack of a criminal record as does the weight of the evidence.”
She also called the incident a senseless act of extreme violence and said the evidence suggests there was a degree of planning since Vann allegedly picked up the shell casings after the shooting.
“It is impossible to ignore the disturbing set of facts here which is that Mr. Vann got a ride to his job at Amazon and was carrying three guns, at least one of which was loaded which he was ready, willing and in fact, I’d say eager to use. I find that Mr. Vann poses an extreme danger to the public,” the judge said.
She set bond at $1.5 million and said if Vann gets out, he will be on GPS monitoring and house arrest. Vann is due back in court Sept. 19.
According to the police reports, Vann went to work after the shooting. Amazon employees said he briefly drove a truck from the facility, then returned it, telling coworkers he was unable to work the rest of the day, the police reports said.
In court, the bail commissioner said Vann has been at his job for three years. An Amazon spokesperson told News 12 Vann has been suspended pending the outcome of this investigation.
Police said the victim remains in the hospital in critical condition but is stable.