CHICAGO — On Saturday, a decades-long bond between two friends was broken by bullets.

At just 36 years old, Caron Arterberry was a rideshare driver for Uber in his spare time, with dreams of leaving Chicago to start a better life.

He never got the chance.

Xandria Branch and her mother, Tamirah Terry, spoke with WGN News Monday via Zoom from Atlanta, where they’ve made a new home away from Chicago. 

“We remained friends. We were best friends. I grew up with him,” Branch said of Arterberry.

“He spent holidays with us. He was a very important part of our family,” Terry added.

“He made sure the friendship was always strong and no matter how many miles were between us, nothing could separate the bond that we built over the years,” Branch said.

Arterberry was driving for Uber and picked up a 24-year-old passenger. The vehicle was stopped at 80th and S. Jeffrey Blvd., when another car pulled up behind them. Police say two people exited the vehicle and opened fire, killing Arterberry and wounding his passenger.

Branch said Arterberry’s sister broke the news to her.

“He was thinking about moving to Arizona or Texas,” Branch said.

Saddened by the loss, Branch and Terry say they will miss Arterberry’s smile.

“When he entered into a room, he would always smile and his smile was such a light,” Terry said.

Mother and daughter asked that all rideshare drivers be aware of the danger while doing their job.

“Make sure that you’re protecting yourself and safe and never second-guess yourself. If there’s something questionable,” Terry said. “But if it’s questionable, just don’t take it.”

Representatives from Uber responded to WGN News’ request for comment, saying, “The devastating act of violence that took the life of Mr. Arterberry and injured the rider is heartbreaking, and our thoughts are with everyone involved. We hope the police are able to arrest those responsible and are standing by to assist however we can.”