Sunday 19 November 2017

Uber driver picked up passenger during rampage that killed 6

Uber driver Jason Dalton. Photo: Reuters
Uber driver Jason Dalton. Photo: Reuters

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.

Authorities identified the shooter as Jason Dalton, a 45-year-old Uber driver who police said had no criminal record. They could not say what motivated him to target victims on Saturday night 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.

Dalton, who was arrested in Kalamazoo in Michigan following a massive manhunt, was expected to be arraigned on murder charges. The terrifying series of attacks began about 6pm on Saturday 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 fatally shot while looking at cars at the dealership. Fifteen minutes after that, five people were gunned down in the parking lot of a restaurant along Interstate 94. Four of them died.

A 14-year-old girl was hospitalised in critical condition.

Dalton was arrested without incident about 12.40am on Sunday 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.

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.

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