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

  • Two children and man killed after van collides with semi in Manitoba

    Canada News CTV News
    PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. -- A man and two children are dead after the minivan they were in collided with a semi in Manitoba. RCMP say the van was heading east on the Trans-Canada Highway on Saturday afternoon and collided with the westbound semi while attempting to turn north onto Highway 16 west of Portage la Prairie. Source
  • Anti-racism demonstrators clash with alt-right rally at Vancouver City Hall [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Protesters demonstrating against racism and Islamophobia began gathering at noon near Vancouver City Hall, well in advance of a planned anti-immigration rally at the same site. The protesters planned to make their voices heard ahead of an "anti-Islam" rally, organized by a group spreading white-supremacist messages online, that was set to begin outside city hall at 2 p.m. Source
  • Wind fans B.C. wildfires, but growth of two largest blazes is limited

    Canada News CTV News
    WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. -- Two of British Columbia's biggest wildfires haven't grown much over the past few days despite being fanned by strong winds. Kevin Skrepnek of the BC Wildfire Service says the winds arrived in the province on Friday as forecast but weren't as strong as feared. Source
  • Knife-wielding man stabs seven in Siberian city of Surgut as ISIS claim disputed

    World News Toronto Sun
    MOSCOW — A knife-wielding man went on a stabbing rampage Saturday in a Siberian city, wounding seven people before police shot and killed him. The Islamic State’s Aamaq news agency hours later claimed the attacker was “an Islamic State soldier. Source
  • Duke University removes damaged Robert E. Lee statue

    World News CTV News
    DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University removed a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee early Saturday after it was vandalized amid a national debate about monuments to the Confederacy. The university said it removed the carved limestone likeness before dawn from the entryway to Duke Chapel, where it stood among 10 historical figures. Source
  • Saskatchewan Party to vote for new leader January 27 following Brad Wall retirement

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    REGINA — The Saskatchewan Party will choose a new leader to replace Premier Brad Wall on January 27, saying the successor will be decided through a one-member, one vote system at a convention in Saskatoon. “The Saskatchewan Party looks forward to a robust campaign, with many leadership candidates entering the race,” Saskatchewan Party president James Thorsteinson said in a news release following a meeting of the party’s provincial council in Regina. Source
  • Hate in America never in short supply

    World News Toronto Sun
    Oozing like a dark slime from dark, primal crevices American fascism is a festering boil that needs to be popped every 20 years or so. Its latest manifestation — fuelled by that conduit of intelligent discourse, social media — reared its head last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. Source
  • Utah teacher and bride-to-be asks for donations for homeless students in lieu of wedding presents

    World News Toronto Sun
    SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah high school teacher is getting married next month. But instead of registering for a blender or stemware, she’s asking for shoes and backpacks to give homeless children at her school. Copper Hills High School teacher Rickee Stewart said she was shocked when she found out more than 100 homeless students attend her school. Source
  • Israeli leader to meet with Putin in Russia

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office says the Israeli leader will travel to Russia on Wednesday to meet with President Vladimir Putin. Netanyahu's office said late Saturday that the meeting would take place in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, and the two would discuss "the latest developments in the region. Source
  • Magician Penn Jillette apologizes for calling Newfoundlanders 'stupid'

    Canada News CBC News
    Celebrity magician Penn Jillette has apologized after Newfoundlanders took him to task for insulting their intelligence on a talk show. Jillette, half of the comedic magic duo Penn & Teller, talked about his Newfoundland roots during an appearance on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher that aired Friday night. Source