Six dead in 'random' Michigan shooting spree

KALAMAZOO, Mich. -- 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.

See Full Article

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 Sunday at a news conference.

Dalton was arrested early Sunday in downtown Kalamazoo following a massive manhunt. He was expected to be arraigned Monday on charges of murder and attempted murder.

Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas described a terrifying series of attacks that began about 6 p.m. 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, Matyas said. Four of them died.

A 14-year-old girl had earlier been reported among the fatalities, based on a pronouncement by medical officials. But police later said that she was hospitalized in critical condition.

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

"These are random murders," he said.

Dalton was arrested without incident about 12:40 a.m. after a deputy spotted his vehicle driving through downtown Kalamazoo after leaving a bar parking lot, authorities said.

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," Matyas said.

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

A spokeswoman for Uber confirmed that Dalton had driven for the company in the past, but she declined to say whether he was driving Saturday night.

Uber prohibits both passengers and drivers from possessing guns of any kind in a vehicle. Anyone found to be in violation of the policy may be prohibited from using or driving for the service.

Dalton was in contact with more than one person during the rampage, authorities said, but they would not elaborate. Prosecutors said they do not expect to charge anyone else.

"There's no common denominator with any of these," 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."

Authorities were interviewing Dalton and reviewing his phone. They did not know if the handgun belonged to him, Getting said.

"This is every community's nightmare -- when you have someone going around just randomly killing people, no rhyme, no reason," Getting said.

Tammy George said the woman who was shot outside the apartment building is her next-door neighbour. She and her family heard the gunfire, ran outside and saw the woman on the ground.

Four bullets went into a closet of George's home, she said. Her son, James, was playing video games with two friends a few feet away from where the bullets pierced the wall.

"I checked out the back window and saw a car speeding off," said James George, 17.

On Sunday morning, Tammy George came outside to clean the parking lot.

"I was worried about the kids coming out and seeing their mom's blood," she said. "I cleaned it up. No kid should have to come out and see their parent's blood on the ground."

During a Sunday morning news conference, some law enforcement officials wiped teary eyes or got choked up. When the news conference ended, Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell and Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley embraced.

"It's hard to put into words the impact something like this has," Getting said. "How do we put an end to the fear this is causing? There's this sense of loss, there's anger, there's fear."

The four people killed outside the restaurant were identified as 62-year-old Mary Lou Nye of Baroda and 60-year-old Mary Jo Nye, 68-year-old Barbara Hawthorne and 74-year-old Dorothy Brown, all of Battle Creek.

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 popular craft beer maker Bell's Brewery. The city also is known for the anonymously funded Kalamazoo Promise program, which has paid college tuition of students who graduate from Kalamazoo Public Schools for more than a decade.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Ceasefire in effect in parts of Syria, but fighting intensifies on Lebanese border

    World News CBC News
    The Syrian army command says it has ceased its military operations in several areas near the capital Damascus but warned it will retaliate against any attack by militants. The command said in a statement carried by state TV that the cessation of operations began at noon local time Saturday. Source
  • Experts inspect Greek quake damage; islanders sleep outdoors

    World News CTV News
    KOS, Greece -- Crews of experts on Saturday began examining the damage to infrastructure and cultural monuments on the eastern Greek island of Kos after a powerful earthquake killed two tourists and injured nearly 500 others in the Aegean Sea region that stretches to Turkey's sprawling coast. Source
  • Trump Jr., Manafort may be interviewed privately by senators

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump's eldest son and his former campaign chairman won't be forced to testify publicly next week and are instead discussing being privately interviewed by a Senate committee investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, the panel said. Source
  • Home Alone, Sopranos actor John Heard dead at 71

    World News CBC News
    Actor John Heard, seen in Los Angeles in this August 2, 2013, file photo, has died. (Mark Davisé/Getty Images) John Heard, best known for his roles in Home Alone, Big, and Beaches, died Friday. Source
  • Home Alone, Sopranos actor John Heard dead at 72

    World News CBC News
    Actor John Heard, seen in Los Angeles in this August 2, 2013, file photo, has died. (Mark Davisé/Getty Images) John Heard, best known for his roles in Home Alone, Big, and Beaches, died Friday. Source
  • Trump fires off volley of angry tweets on Russia probe

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — Hours before he was to help commission a new aircraft carrier at a patriotic ceremony on the Virginia coast, President Donald Trump fired off a volley of early morning tweets that again showed how furious he remains over multiple investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Source
  • 16-year-old German girl among 26 foreigners arrested in Iraq after fall of Mosul

    World News CBC News
    Three Iraqi intelligence and investigative officials have told The Associated Press that 26 foreigners — including two men, eight children and 16 women — have been arrested in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and taken to Baghdad. Source
  • Whale rescue group missions still on hold after volunteer's death

    Canada News CTV News
    Whale rescue groups are still waiting for the green light to head out and help entangled right whales after the death of one volunteer put missions on hold. The Campobello Whale Rescue Team’s boat remains tied to the dock even though a North Atlantic right whale is entangled in fishing gear in the Gulf of St. Source
  • Transgender inmate in B.C. wins right to move to a federal prison for women

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- A transgender inmate in British Columbia has won a years-long battle to serve the remainder of her sentence for first-degree murder at a women's prison. Fallon Aubee is one of the first federal prisoners to relocate under policy changes at Correctional Services Canada that allow inmates to transfer facilities based on gender identity and not physical anatomy, said Jennifer Metcalfe, a spokeswoman for the West Coast Prison Justice Society. Source
  • Philippines extends martial law in region under siege by Muslim militants

    World News CBC News
    The Philippine Congress on Saturday overwhelmingly approved the president's appeal for martial law in the south to be extended to the end of the year to help troops quell a two-month siege by ISIS-linked militants and stamp out similar extremist plots in the volatile region. Source