Even as the United States is ruing over the Florida shooting that shocked everyone on February 15, and debating gun control, a racially-charged tirade has come to light from the state of Illinois. An Indian-American Uber driver, who is also the head priest of a Sikh Gurudwara in Illinois, was allegedly attacked and abused by a gun-wielding passenger.
The victim, Gurjeet Singh, a Sikh driver, had started driving for Uber just a month before the shocking incident took place in Moline, Illinois on January 28.
"I really felt I was going to die that night. I prayed to God to save my life," Singh told India-West.
The head priest of a gurudwara in Silvis, Illinois, Singh reportedly took a male passenger and his wife from a pub and drove for five miles towards their home when the US man turned violent.
The attacker sat in the front seat with the driver while his wife sat in the back seat. The male passenger started grilling Singh regarding his nationality, name and immigration status.
Singh answered all the questions, however, he could see a change in the man's reaction as he was seemingly getting worked up. His wife told him to calm down, however, that made him even more frustrated, Singh told India-west.
"This pissed him off. He put a gun to my head and said he doesn't like turbans. I was very nervous. It was late night and there was no one else on the road."
The passenger had even asked Singh if he worked for America or his native country, India. The uber driver hesitated at first but later said that he works for both the nations as his family belongs to India.
Singh later pulled over the car realizing that the situation was getting a lot more serious than he had expected. Once the vehicle stopped, the woman pushed the attacker out of the car and asked Singh to drop her home saying that her husband would walk on his own. She also apologized for her husband's behavior.
Singh took her home and dropped her. She had asked him to take a different route back, but he was unaware of the other routes.
The driver, however, managed to reach home safely and messaged Uber regarding the incident. Following which, the company responded stating that they had deactivated the passenger's account.
Singh told India-West, that he no longer works with Uber as he is too petrified of such incidents. "After the police arrest him, maybe I will drive again". He said.
He sought the help of police to look into the serious racial issue as he called the Rock Island County Sheriff Department, the next morning.
"We have done multiple interviews with the victim and the suspect. This is an ongoing investigation. We're hoping to wrap things up within a couple of days" a police official from the Rock County Sheriff Department told the newspaper.
No arrests have been made so far.