The mother of a 19-year-old college student who died after being shot by an Uber driver last year in South Florida was anguished to learn last week that the shooter won’t be prosecuted due to the state’s stand-your-ground protections.
Christopher Bernadel shot Miles McGlashan on Nov. 9, 2022, in the city of Hollywood. That evening, McGlashan requested an Uber, according to a state attorney’s memo.
After Bernadel picked up McGlashan, an argument started when McGlashan tried to change the address. When Bernadel told McGlashan that he wouldn’t take him to the new address, McGlashan allegedly began cursing at Bernadel.
McGlashan decided to cancel the ride completely at a certain point. The prosecutor’s memo said he got out of the car and slammed the door.
Bernadel told police that he too got out of the car to question McGlashan and some words were exchanged before McGlashan started punching him multiple times in the head.
Bernadel told detectives he “was wearing his glasses at the time he was being hit and was stumbling when he reached for his firearm because he was in fear for his life.” That weapon was in his waistband.
He said he fired one shot at McGlashan while he was being hit. That’s when McGlashan pulled back, and Bernadel got back in his car and drove about a block from the scene before calling 911.
McGlashan was found shot once in his chest near his grandparents’ home, which was his intended destination during the ride, and taken to a nearby hospital.
Investigators weren’t able to get his side of the story since his injuries put him in a coma. Family members waited two months before deciding to take him off life support. There also weren’t any witnesses or surveillance cameras to capture the incident.
Police did note there was swelling on the side of Bernadel’s head when they arrived at the scene.
The Miami Herald obtained the medical examiner’s report that revealed that the Barry University student died as a result of complications of a gunshot wound to the chest. The medical examiner also determined the matter of death was a homicide. In an examination of McGlashan’s body, there were two bullet holes: one on the right side of his chest and the other on his “right flank.”
A family attorney told Local 10 News that McGlashan was shot in the back and the bullet had exited his chest.
“Miles was unarmed, and at 5 foot 7 and 125 pounds approximately half the size of Mr. Bernadel who the record indicates got out of the vehicle with a concealed weapon to question Miles after the college student was walking away,” the attorneys’ statement read. “One trauma surgeon determined in lay terms that Miles was shot while turned away and we believe that the portions of the law where the driver would be considered the aggressor were not appropriately applied.”
Broward State Attorney Harold Pryor released a statement on June 28 explaining why Bernadel isn’t facing charges.
“While hearts and minds often struggle, prosecutors are tasked with and required by law to ensure there is not only probable cause to support a criminal charge but that there is also sufficient evidence to prove that charge beyond every reasonable doubt,” the statement read. “Based upon the evidence we received in this matter, our office cannot pursue charges.”
Attorneys for McGlashan’s family said his mother, April, was “devastated” after learning the state attorney’s office wouldn’t pursue charges.
“We are taking some time to absorb this grave injustice,” April McGlashan told the Herald.
The family’s attorney, William Shepard, said they will request the state attorney to review the case and present it to a grand jury.