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

Jason Brian Dalton
(Image credit: Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office)

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".

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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?"

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