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Cabbie's motiveless rampage leaves six people dead in US

By PA Reporters

Published 22/02/2016

Flowers lie near a makes shift memorial outside a Cracker Barrel in Kalamazoo
Flowers lie near a makes shift memorial outside a Cracker Barrel in Kalamazoo

A gunman who seemed to choose his victims at random opened fire outside an apartment complex, a car dealership and a restaurant in Michigan, killing at least six people during a rampage that lasted nearly seven hours, police said.

Authorities identified the shooter as 45-year-old Jason Dalton, an Uber driver 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.

"How do you go and tell the families of these victims that they weren't targeted for any reason other than they were there to be a target?" Kalamazoo county prosecutor Jeff Getting said at a news conference.

Dalton was arrested early yesterday in Kalamazoo following a massive manhunt. He is expected to be arraigned today on charges of murder and attempted murder.

Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas described a terrifying series of attacks that began about 6pm on Saturday outside the Meadows apartment complex on the eastern edge of Kalamazoo County, where a woman was shot multiple times. She was expected to survive.

A little more than four hours later and 15 miles away, a father and his 18-year-old son were fatally shot while looking at cars at the dealership.

Fifteen minutes after that, five people were gunned down in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant along Interstate 94, Mr Matyas said. Four of them died.

A 14-year-old girl had earlier been reported among the fatalities, but police later said that she was taken to hospital in a critical condition.

Authorities did not believe the shootings were targeted at specific people, describing them as "our worst-case scenario," Mr Matyas said.

Dalton was arrested without incident about 12.40am after a deputy spotted his vehicle driving through Kalamazoo after leaving a bar parking lot, authorities said.

Mr Matyas declined to disclose anything found in the vehicle except for a semi-automatic handgun. "In this particular case, we're just thankful it ended the way it did - before he could really kill anybody else," Mr Matyas said.

Authorities were investigating a Facebook post that indicated the suspect was driving for Uber during the manhunt and had taken at least one fare, Mr Getting said.

A spokeswoman for Uber confirmed Dalton had driven for them in the past, but declined to say whether he was driving on Saturday.

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