A man who allegedly fired several gunshots into an Indiana mobile home went on to order a Lyft to use as a getaway car, the Portage Police Department said on Tuesday.
Police say Issa Amer Ishtawi, 20, broke into a mobile home located about ten miles east of Gary, Indiana on Tuesday and fired a gun inside the residence. The suspect reportedly took one of the residents who had been inside the home out of the house and continued firing several more rounds into the side of the house, striking one man who was visiting in his left foot.
Several other gunshots also struck some homes in the neighborhood, but no one was hurt, the statement added.
Ishtawi fled the scene and used the Lyft app to summon a getaway vehicle. Fortunately, an eagle-eyed officer who was looking for the suspect spotted him sitting in the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop. Ishtawi was removed from the backseat and placed in handcuffs while the officer searched the vehicle with the car owner's consent.
Inside the Lyft vehicle, police discovered a loaded Glock .40 handgun stashed under the passenger seat as well as a zip-lock bag of marijuana inside Ishtawi's backpack. The Lyft driver told police the gun did not belong to him and did not know how it got there. Police said the driver had been "shook up by the entire incident."
Statements made by Ishtawi at the scene led police to believe that the handgun belonged to him. The police department said it will run tests to match the gun to the earlier crime.
Police said that this appeared to be an "isolated incident in which drugs were involved and we are fortunate that no one else was injured or anyone killed given the lack of regard for a closely spaced community."
In a statement to NBC News, a Lyft spokeswoman said the company took their drivers' safety seriously, calling the incident "frightening and deeply concerning."
"Upon becoming aware of the allegations, we immediately banned the passenger from our community and reached out to the driver to offer our support. We stand ready to assist law enforcement with their investigation," a Lyft spokeswoman told NBC News.
Ishtawai was charged with multiple felonies, including aggravated Battery w/ Handgun, Battery, Intimidation, Recklessness w/a Handgun, carrying a pistol without a permit, and possession of marijuana.
Photo: Portage Police Department