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Michigan shooting suspect is Uber driver, who picked up fares between random killings

February 22, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Michigan shooting suspect is Uber driver, who picked up fares between random killings

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The gunman in Kalamazoo, Michigan, who seemed to choose randomly his victims, killing six people in a shooting rampage that lasted nearly seven hours, was an Uber driver, who picked up fares in between the shootings.

Authorities identified the shooter as Jason Dalton, a 45-year-old Uber driver and former insurance adjuster who police said had no criminal record. They could not say what motivated him to target victims with no apparent connection to him or to each other in the Saturday night shootings.

Witnesses came forward and described terrifying rides taken with Dalton, who was picking up fares in between carrying out the random killings Saturday evening.

Mackenzie Waite explained on her Facebook page that an Uber driver named Jason as “not a safe ride” after her fiance booked a car.

She claimed Dalton had sideswiped a car and drove at speeds reaching 80 miles per hour down a local street “swerving in and out of oncoming traffic”.

Waite’s posted her comments at 5:33 p.m. Saturday, which is 30 minutes before the first shooting incident.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting confirmed that law enforcement was aware of the Waite’s post.

According to Fox17 reported,  Jamie and Kacey Black witnessed a man jump out of a vehicle they recognized later as Dalton’s car.

The man told them the driver had been driving erratically and refused to let him out. It was not immediately clear whether the man was Waite’s fiance.

Kacey Black said she called 911 to report the driver, but said “I felt like they didn’t believe me. They just kind of laughed at me.”

At 6 p.m., a woman was shot multiple times outside an apartment complex on the eastern edge of Kalamazoo County. She was expected to survive.

At around 7 p.m., Dalton’s next door neighbor James Block told the Associated Press that his niece saw Dalton drive out his driveway. When he got to the street, he stopped and rapidly backed toward his garage, turning his vehicle so the lights shined toward Block’s house, Block said. Then he drove off, Block said.

On Sunday, a spokeswoman for Uber confirmed that Dalton worked for the service, but stop short of indicating whether he was working Saturday night. 

“He was there between the shootings,” Block said.

A Kalamazoo man with the Twitter handle IamKeithBlack posted Sunday that Dalton picked him up at around 8 p.m.

A receipt he posted indicated that Dalton had driven him 4.8 miles and the ride had lasted 10 minutes.

Four hours after the initial shooting took place and 15 miles away, a man and his son were fatally shot while looking at vehicles at Seelye Kia of Kalamazoo.

Fifteen minutes later, a shooting occurred outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant, where four women, including retired school teacher Mary Jo Nye, were killed, and a 14-year-old girl was injured.

An Indiana man and his wife visiting in-laws decided to call for an Uber ride around midnight after hearing about the shooting spree.

The couple who were told their driver’s name would be Jason, and he would be driving a Chevrolet HHR told Fox17 that the driver seemed to be aware of the news about an active shooter.

The man said, “I joked at him and said ‘You are not the shooter are you?’, he said ‘no’, and I said ‘are you sure’, and he said ‘no, I’m just exhausted.”

Dalton told the couple, who refused to be identified that he had been driving for seven hours that day.

The couple said they had smelled no gun powder or witnessed no weapon.

Twenty minutes after dropping off the couple, Dalton was arrested without incident about after a deputy spotted his vehicle driving through downtown Kalamazoo after leaving a bar parking lot. A semi-automatic handgun was found in the car.

 

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