On Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, an Uber driver was accused of a rampage shooting in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The police took Jason Dalton, 45, into custody after a seven-hour nightmare that involved eight random victims. Six of those victims have been reported dead.
Dalton picked up and dropped off passengers between the shootings and while still on duty. The first shooting began at approximately 5:42 p.m. EST, on Feb. 20. A woman, whose identity has not yet been released, was in an apartment complex parking lot and was shot multiple times. She is expected to survive, yet is still in critical condition. Her three children were also with her but were unharmed.
Four hours later, Dalton stopped at a Kalamazoo car dealership and shot a father and his son who were looking for a vehicle on the lot. They were both killed at the scene. Minutes after this shooting, Dalton pulled into the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant and fired at an Oldsmobile minivan and a Chevrolet Cruze. Killing four victims, Barabara Hawthorne, Dorothy Brown, Mary Jo Nye, and Mary Lou Nye. A 14-year-old girl was found at the scene but survived the shooting. She is in critical condition at a Kalamazoo-area hospital. All five victims were in a group together at the restaurant.
The Uber driver who was accused in the shooting rampage throughout Kalamazoo was officially taken into custody at approximately 12:40 a.m. on Feb.22. Dalton was pulled over by a Kalamazoo County deputy and immediately arrested, ending the city-wide manhunt. After his last shooting, Dalton was still on duty and continued to pick up fares in the area. The police confiscated a semi-automatic handgun. At the time of his arrest, Dalton was reported to be even-tempered.
It was confirmed to CNN that Dalton passed his background check upon employment and did not have a criminal record. He has been interrogated, but the motive for his random shootings is unknown and still under investigation. These random shootings, unfortunately, involved random victims who had no relation to Dalton. He admitted, during his interrogation that he did not know the victims. He will be arraigned on Monday, Feb. 22, and Dalton will be formally charged. Kalamazoo police have stated they predict Dalton will be charged with six counts of possession of a firearm, two counts of assault with intent to commit murder, and six counts of murder. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was brought into the case and concluded that they have not found evidence indicating the shootings may have been terror-related.
Dalton is married with two children, and according to his neighbor, their family appeared to be a “typical American family.” Sally Pardo and her husband, Gary Pardo, have lived across the street from Dalton for ten years. The couple described Dalton to be quiet and nice. They believe his deadly actions were out of character.
Kalamazoo is 160 miles west of Detroit, with a population of about 75,000. It is unknown if Western Michigan University alerted their students about the shooting rampage, nor if they were on a campus-wide lockdown. The campus is located in the heart of Kalamazoo.
Dalton, a 45-year-old Uber driver was accused of killing six people and injuring two others in a rampage shooting in Kalamazoo. According to a Mass Shooting Tracker, this is overall, the 42nd mass shooting in the U.S. since the beginning of 2016. In the month of February alone, this is the 24th mass shooting.
By Tricia Manalansan
CNN: Kalamazoo Uber driver picked up fares between killings, source says
CBS News: Deadly Kalamazoo shootings eyed as random spree
The Washington Post: The Kalamazoo rampage was the 42nd mass shooting this year
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