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Michigan shootings gunman 'took Uber passengers' between six 'random murders' in Kalamazoo

Published 22/02/2016

Shooting suspect Jason Brian Dalton, 45, after being arrested February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Dalton is accused of killing 6 people and wounding 2 others at three locations in Kalamazoo in a seemingly random shooting spree.
Shooting suspect Jason Brian Dalton, 45, after being arrested February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Dalton is accused of killing 6 people and wounding 2 others at three locations in Kalamazoo in a seemingly random shooting spree.
A makeshift memorial is seen near where people were shot near car dealership Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, in Kalamazoo, Mich. According to police a man drove around Kalamazoo fatally shooting several people at multiple locations on Saturday. Authorities identified the shooter as Jason Dalton. (Andraya Croft/Detroit Free Press via AP) DETROIT NEWS OUT; TV OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT DETROIT FREE PRESS
Police tape is seen outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, in Kalamazoo, Mich. According to police a man drove around Kalamazoo fatally shooting several people at multiple locations on Saturday, including the parking lot of the restaurant. Authorities identified the shooter as Jason Dalton. (Andraya Croft/Detroit Free Press via AP) DETROIT NEWS OUT; TV OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT DETROIT FREE PRESS
Police tape surrounds the area of a random shooting on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, in Kalamazoo, Mich. Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo County was arrested early Sunday in downtown Kalamazoo following a massive manhunt after several victims were shot at random.(AP Photo/Mike Householder)
The exterior of Jason Brian Daltons' residence is seen on the corner of West East Avenue and Douglas Avenue in Cooper Township, Mich. According to police a man identified as Dalton drove around Kalamazoo fatally shooting several people at multiple locations on Saturday. He was arrested without incident at around 12:40 a.m. on Sun. Feb 21. (Andraya Croft/Detroit Free Press via AP) DETROIT NEWS OUT; TV OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT DETROIT FREE PRESS
Members of the community pray before the start of the Kalamazoo Community Prayer Service at Centerpoint Church on in Kalamazoo, Mich., Sunday, Feb 21, 2016. A gunman who seemed to choose his victims at random opened fire Saturday outside an apartment complex, a car dealership and a restaurant in Michigan, killing six people in a rampage that lasted nearly seven hours, police said. (Andraya Croft/Detroit Free Press via AP)
Police investigate the scene after a random shooting on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo. Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo County was arrested early Sunday in downtown Kalamazoo following a massive manhunt after several victims were shot at random. (Mark Bugnaski/Kalamazoo Gazette-MLive Media Group via AP) LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; LOCAL RADIO OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
An officer with the Kalamazoo Crime Lab leaves the scene of a random shooting on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo. Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo County was arrested early Sunday in downtown Kalamazoo following a massive manhunt after several victims were shot at random. (Bryan Bennett/Kalamazoo Gazette-MLive Media Group via AP) LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; LOCAL RADIO OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
Police meet early Sunday at Kalamazoo Valley Community College after searching for a gunman involved in multiple shootings Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Mich. A man drove around Kalamazoo shooting people at three locations Saturday, including a Cracker Barrel restaurant and a Ford dealership, leaving six dead and three injured, two of them critically, police said. Police have arrested the suspect in the multiple shootings. (Mark Bugnaski/Kalamazoo Gazette via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

At least six people have been killed in a series of "random" shootings at a Cracker Barrel restaurant and a Kia car dealership in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Jason Dalton, 45, was reported by a local TV station to be an Uber driver who carried passengers between the shootings in Kalamazoo over a seven-hour period on Saturday night.

Wood TV said police were investigating reports that Dalton dropped off Uber passengers at a hotel, then went to a nearby Cracker Barrel restaurant and killed four women and seriously wounded a 14-year-old girl. It said a Facebook post by the fiancee of an Uber passenger claimed Dalton had sideswiped a car, run a red light and was driving erratically just before the shootings.

It was initially reported that the 14-year-old had died, but police later revised the deathcount from seven to six, as the teenager is still alive, though gravely injured.

Police were first called to an apartment complex where a woman was shot multiple times. She was taken to hospital in a serious condition.

Dalton was arrested without a struggle and is now being questioned by police.

Michigan state prosecutor Jeff Getting said Dalton had been arrested and would face multiple murder and attempted murder counts. “This is every community’s nightmare – when you have someone going around just randomly killing people, no rhyme, no reason,” he said.

Police described a terrifying series of attacks that began about 6pm outside an apartment complex, 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 killed while looking at cars at a car dealership. Fifteen minutes after that came the restaurant shootings.

Dalton was arrested without incident after an officer spotted his vehicle driving through Kalamazoo after he left a bar. Police declined to say what was found in the vehicle except for a semi-automatic handgun.

An Uber representative confirmed that Dalton was a driver for the car-hailing service and said he had passed background checks. The company’s chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, said Uber was contacting police to help with the investigation.

Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas said: “In this particular case, we’re just thankful it ended the way it did – before he could really kill anybody else.”

Authorities said Dalton had been in contact with more than one person during the rampage but would not elaborate. Prosecutors said they did not expect to charge anyone else.

“There’s no common denominator with any of these,” Mr Matyas said. “This person was just waiting in the parking lot of the apartment complex. The one at … the dealership, they were looking at cars. The ones at Cracker Barrel, they were just sitting in their cars. There is absolutely no common denominator … through race, age, anything.”

With a population of about 75,000, Kalamazoo is about 160 miles west of Detroit. It is home to Western Michigan University and the headquarters of the popular craft beer maker Bell’s Brewery.

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