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

  • Powerful cyclone lashes Oman and Yemen; 5 dead, 30 missing

    World News CBC News
    Cyclone Mekunu blew into the Arabian Peninsula early Saturday, drenching arid Oman and Yemen, cutting off power lines and leaving at least five people dead and more than 30 missing, officials said. Portions of Salalah, Oman's third-largest city, lost electricity as the cyclone made landfall. Source
  • DND doubles financial compensation for military who lose money on moving

    Canada News CBC News
    The Department of National Defence has doubled the amount of compensation members can receive when they have to relocate, but admits it still has no way to help those who suffer "catastrophic" financial losses. Source
  • Sex, lies and video: The story behind Alexa Emerson's 'rampage of social media terrorism'

    Canada News CBC News
    First came the videos. Leland Pearl of Saskatoon got one, which was sent from a fake email address. It showed an unknown man slapping Pearl's ex-girlfriend, Alexa Emerson, who was bound at the wrists. The man said Emerson's "blood would be on his hands" if Pearl did not give up custody of his son. Source
  • Tears, cheers and defiance follow Weinstein rape charges

    World News CBC News
    From the tremendous relief and tears of complainants to the stern defence of his lawyer, reactions were swift on Friday after disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein surrendered to police in New York City to face sexual assault and rape charges. Source
  • Irish anti-abortion campaign concedes it has lost referendum

    World News CBC News
    The main group opposing the liberalization of Ireland's abortion law conceded on Saturday that it has lost Friday's referendum on the issue by an overwhelming margin, a spokesperson said. The people of Ireland "weighed it in the balance and it came down on one side. Source
  • No guarantee Ottawa can come to terms with Kinder Morgan over Trans Mountain, says Carr

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada's natural resources minister says there's no guarantee that Ottawa can reach a deal with Kinder Morgan to keep the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project alive. "There's no certainty in these things. Pipeline politics, as you know, are not straight," Jim Carr told CBC Radio's The House Friday. Source
  • Canada's coolest summer job mixes adrenaline with reconciliation

    Canada News CBC News
    Reconciliation "I know that the governments have been working very hard on reconciliation," says Allison Baetz, left. "So having this first station in the North … shows that they are working towards what they had promised us. Source
  • Justice minister's tweet on Boushie verdict inspired a wave of angry e-mails and letters

    Canada News CBC News
    Hundreds of Canadians sent messages to the office of Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould after the minister posted a comment on Twitter about the second degree murder trial of Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley. In February, a jury found Stanley not guilty in the death of Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old Cree man. Source
  • The Trudeau government gets another chance to do election law reform right

    Canada News CBC News
    Andrew Scheer suggested this week that Justin Trudeau is trying to "rig the next election." It's quite a thing to say. In fact, it's just about the most serious charge one can level at a government. It apparently failed to make much of a ripple on Parliament Hill — an indication, perhaps, of how numb everyone has gotten to the effects of apocalyptic political rhetoric. Source
  • Trump lawyer's selling of access to president unveils the murky world of lobbying

    World News CBC News
    Donald Trump's embattled personal lawyer Michael Cohen sparked more controversy this month when it was revealed he was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by large corporations for access to the president. And while such transactions may have raised ethical concerns and questions about whether Cohen should have been registered as a lobbyist, his actions, say experts, were all perfectly legal. Source