Date
23 May 2017
Jason Dalton is suspected of carrying out random shootings in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in which six people were killed. Reports say he is an Uber driver who might have picked up passengers during the rampage. Photo: Reuters
Jason Dalton is suspected of carrying out random shootings in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in which six people were killed. Reports say he is an Uber driver who might have picked up passengers during the rampage. Photo: Reuters

Uber driver suspected in deadly Michigan shootings

A suspected Uber driver might have picked up passengers during a deadly rampage in which six people were killed and two others injured.

The random shootings took place in the Michigan city of Kalamazoo and that the suspect may have been an Uber driver, Reuters reports, citing a local TV station.

Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Getting said Jason Dalton opened fire the previous evening in parking lots outside an apartment building, a car dealership and at a Cracker Barrel restaurant.

Authorities could not confirm that the 45-year-old suspect was working for Uber during the nearly five-hour shooting spree on Saturday.

He was arrested early on Sunday.

An Uber representative confirmed that Dalton was a company driver and that he had passed background checks.

The representative referred questions about whether Dalton was working at the time of the shootings to police.

The victims “appear to be chosen at random, because they were available,” Getting said at a news conference.

“They were shot multiple times, multiple  – nine, 10, 11 shell casings at each of these scenes.”

The carnage in Kalamazoo, a city of about 75,000 people 240 km. west of Detroit, was the latest in a series of mass shootings that have made gun control a campaign issue in the November US presidential election.

WOOD-TV, a Grand Rapids station, quoted police as saying that they were investigating reports that Dalton dropped off Uber fares at a Fairfield Inn hotel and then killed four women and wounded a 14-year-old girl at the nearby Cracker Barrel.

Michigan state police said the teenager was in critical condition.

In an e-mailed statement, the company’s chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, said Uber was in contact with police to help with the investigation.

Matt Mellen, an Uber passenger, told CBS TV affiliate WWMT that he had tried to alert the company after a wild ride with Dalton about an hour before the first shooting was reported.

He said Dalton introduced himself using a different name from the one listed as a driver.

He then sped through medians and across a lawn, and Mellen jumped out at a stop at about 4:30 p.m.

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FL/RA

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