The man identified by police as a suspect in the shooting deaths of six people Saturday night in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, has no known criminal history. Sunday morning Uber confirmed the man worked for the company as a driver-partner and had passed a background check.
Around 12:40 a.m. Sunday, police pulled over a Chevrolet HHR linked to shootings at three separate locations in the county. They apprehended Jason Brian Dalton, 45, of Kalamazoo, for questioning, according to Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley.
"There is no doubt in my mind that the police work in this situation saved lives," Kalamazoo County prosecutor Jeffrey Getting said at a news conference Sunday morning. "No question."
Records from Kalamazoo County Jail showed the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety booked Dalton into jail around 4:40 a.m. Sunday. He initially faced two homicide charges in relation to Saturday's shootings. Getting said he would likely face one count of murder for each of his slain victims and additional assault charges for the two survivors. He will also likely face felony firearm charges.
"We're very confident that we have the right person in custody," Getting said. "We have significant evidence to tie him to these incidents."
He declined to discuss the evidence tied to Dalton.
"We want to make sure we do things right," he said. "This is obviously very, very tragic circumstances. We wouldn't want to do anything to jeopardize our ability to prosecute Mr. Dalton."
The shootings claimed six lives, including those of a father and son, WOOD reported. Getting declined to identify the victims, citing the need to notify their families first.
The shootings started around 6 p.m., when a woman suffered severe injuries and multiple gunshot wounds at Meadows Townhomes in Kalamazoo. She was expected to survive, Getting said.
Authorities didn't respond to the next shooting until around 10 p.m. Getting said four women died and a 14-year-old girl was "severely injured" at a Cracker Barrel restaurant off Interstate 94. Initially authorities reported the 14-year-old had died of her injuries, but Getting said that appeared to have been a miscommunication.
An 18-year-old and another man died in a reported shooting at Seelye Kia of Kalamazoo and one other person suffered severe injuries. Getting confirmed the deceased victims were related, but did not confirm they were father and son.
Investigators found no links between Dalton and the victims. Getting said the only thing that connected the three shooting scenes was the shooter.
"The loss the community has suffered, the loss that the community will continue to suffer – you can't begin to put that into words," Getting said.
"There's this sense of loss, this anger, fear, and then you put on top of that – how do you tell the families of these victims they weren't targeted for any reason other than they were there to be targeted? They were shot multiple times, multiple, I mean nine, 10, 11 shell casings at these scenes. This is awful."
Authorities do not believe any other shooters were involved in the attacks reported Saturday.
Getting said Dalton would likely appear in court for an arraignment Monday afternoon.
"Obviously there's a lot more to do in this case," he said, noting that authorities were conducting search warrants Sunday morning and planned to have their reports turned in to prosecutors by Sunday evening.
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