Uber Driver Accused of Killing 6 in 3 Separate Shootings in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Jason Dalton arrested in connection with shootings.

ByABC News
February 21, 2016, 5:27 PM

— -- A 45-year-old Uber driver was arrested today after he allegedly opened fire in three locations in Kalamazoo, Michigan, killing six people and injuring two others in what police called "completely random acts of violence."

Jason Dalton, of Kalamazoo, is first accused of shooting a woman in a Kalamazoo parking lot around 5:45 p.m. Saturday, Michigan State Police said today.

He's also the suspect in the deadly shooting of a father and son around 10 p.m. Saturday at the Seelye Ford KIA Dealership in Kalamazoo, state police said. The victims were identified as Richard Eugene Smith, 53, and Tyler Daniel Smith, 17, of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Public Safety said.

Dalton then allegedly approached two cars in a Cracker Barrel Restaurant parking lot and shot five people, state police said. Four of the victims in the two cars died, said police.

"We're trying to piece it all together," Kalamazoo Department of Safety Chief Jeff Hadley said. "Obviously a lot of it doesn't make sense to us or anyone else for that matter. These appear to be completely random acts of violence.

"None of these victims knew each other, nor did they know the suspect, that we know of. And so it's as baffling to us as it is to everyone else," he said.

After the Cracker Barrel shooting, Dalton was stopped at 12:40 a.m. and taken into custody, said state police. A semi-automatic handgun was found inside Dalton's vehicle, Kalamazoo County prosecuting attorney Jeff Getting said.

Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas said Dalton had brief conversations with his victims before shooting them at point blank range.

Getting said at a news conference Sunday that Dalton had not yet been charged but was expected to face murder charges.

A prosecutor will review charges Monday morning and Dalton will likely be arraigned Monday afternoon, Getting said.

While police previously reported seven people had been killed, Getting said only six had died and two others were severely injured.

"They thought she was deceased -- she wasn't," he said. "Call it miracle, call it what you want, but she's alive now."

State police said the four people killed in the Cracker Barrel parking lot were: Mary Lou Nye, 62, of Baroda, Mich.; Mary Jo Nye, 60, of Battle Creek, Mich.; Dorothy Brown, 74, of Battle Creek, Mich.; and Barbara Hawthorne, 68, of Battle Creek, Mich.

The surviving victim from the Cracker Barrel shooting is a 14-year-old who is in critical condition, said state police.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Sen. Debbie Stabenow are among the officials offering their condolences to the victims' families today.

Dalton works as a driver for Uber and had passed a background check, an Uber spokesperson said.

“We are horrified and heartbroken at the senseless violence in Kalamazoo, Michigan," Uber Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan said in a statement. "Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this devastating crime and those recovering from injuries. We have reached out to the police to help with their investigation in any way that we can.”

The prosecuting attorney’s office is looking into whether Dalton was transporting customers before, between or after the shootings, Getting said. Prosecutors have not spoken with Uber representatives today, Getting said.

Dalton is believed to acted alone, state police said.

The FBI is involved in the investigation.

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband Captain Mark Kelly said in a statement, “Once again, another community has been shattered by gun violence. This is what the new normal looks like.”

"On a seemingly quiet Saturday night, as many spent time with family and friends, some became the targets of terror and gunfire," they said. “We wish we could call that unthinkable. But in our country, it’s not."

"We grieve for those taken and their loved ones, and we pray for strength for the injured," Giffords and Kelly's statement said. “Our hearts are in Kalamazoo.”

ABC News' Matthew Foster, Rex Sakamoto and Joshua Hoyos contributed to this story.

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