Uber driver accused of killing six in random shooting spree
Jason Dalton is alleged to have picked up fares during deadly rampage through Kalamazoo, Michigan
An Uber driver has been accused of killing six people and wounding two more in a series of shootings around Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Jason Dalton (pictured above) is said to have continued to pick up and drop off passengers through the ride-sharing app during a murderous rampage that lasted seven hours.
Matt Mellen, who rode with 45-year-old Dalton minutes before the first shooting, described the driver's behaviour as erratic. "We were… driving through the lawn speeding along and then finally, once he came to a stop, I jumped out of the car and ran away," he told WWMT, adding that Dalton appeared "surprisingly calm".
Police received their first report of an active gunman at 5.42pm local time, when a woman was shot several times in front of her three children in a car park. Her condition is now being reported as serious but stable.
Around four hours later, a father and son were shot dead as they looked at a vehicle in a car showroom. They were later named as Richard Smith and his 17-year-old son, Tyler
The shooter then turned his attentions to a Cracker Barrel restaurant, where he opened fire on two vehicles sitting outside, killing four women - Mary Lou Nye, 62; Mary Jo Nye, 60, believed to be her sister-in-law; Dorothy Brown, 74, and Barbara Hawthorne, 68. A 14-year-old girl was initially reported as a fifth fatality but she survived the shooting and remains in critical condition.
Dalton was apprehended by police at 12.30am as he left a bar, where he submitted to arrest without resistance. Kalamazoo County prosecutor Jeff Getting said he appeared "even-tempered" when confronted by officers, who found a semi-automatic handgun in his car.
Investigators are still trying to establish a motive for the shootings. Dalton, who is married with two children, has no prior criminal record, although neighbours said he had been acting "paranoid" for a few weeks.
"There is this sense of loss, anger, fear," Getting told a press conference. "On top of that, how do you tell the families of these victims that they were not targeted for any other reason than they were a target?"