(KALAMAZOO, Mich.) — A Michigan Uber driver appeared in court Monday, accused of opening fire in three locations around Kalamazoo this weekend, killing six people and injuring two others.
Jason Dalton was arraigned at about 1:30 p.m. via video and did not physically appear in court.
He was charged with six counts of murder, two counts of assault with intent to commit murder and eight charges of using a firearm during the commission of a felony, Kalamazoo County prosecuting attorney Jeff Getting said.
When the judge asked Dalton if he wanted to comment on the charges, Dalton said, “I would prefer to remain silent.”
His bail was denied and his next court appearance was scheduled for March 3.
“The Kalamazoo community is reeling from these senseless acts of violence that took so many innocent lives from us,” Getting said in a statement Monday. “Our hearts are saddened for all of the victims, their families and friends who are dealing with this on a much more personal level.
Dalton, 45, is first accused of shooting a woman in a Kalamazoo parking lot around 5:45 p.m. Saturday, Michigan State Police said. The woman survived and her condition was not immediately released.
He’s also the suspect in the deadly shooting of a father and son around 10 p.m. Saturday at the Seelye Ford KIA Dealership in Kalamazoo, state police said. The victims were identified as Richard Eugene Smith, 53, and Tyler Daniel Smith, 17, of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Public Safety said.
Dalton then allegedly approached two cars in a Cracker Barrel Restaurant parking lot and shot five people, state police said. Four of the victims in the two cars died, police said. State police identified them as: Mary Lou Nye, 62, of Baroda, Mich.; Mary Jo Nye, 60, of Battle Creek, Mich.; Dorothy Brown, 74, of Battle Creek, Mich.; and Barbara Hawthorne, 68, of Battle Creek, Mich.
The surviving victim from the Cracker Barrel shooting is a 14-year-old who is in critical condition, said state police.
After the Cracker Barrel shooting, Dalton was stopped at 12:40 a.m. and taken into custody, said state police. A semi-automatic handgun was found inside Dalton’s vehicle, Getting said.
Ed Davis of the Uber Safety Advisory Board told ABC’s Good Morning America Monday that there was “no background check that would have identified this man as a problem.”
“There is a full background check done on all driver partners for Uber,” Davis said. “And this individual had the background check completed and there was nothing in his background to indicate he was a problem. He had no record whatsoever.
“He was a father, a husband,” Davis said. “He was described by the police chief in Kalamazoo as a regular guy, exactly the type of guy that any corporation would like to hire.”
Davis, a former Boston Police Commissioner, called Uber “one of the safest platforms I’ve ever dealt with,” adding that “Uber is constantly looking at their security procedures and updating them and that situation will continue.”
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Recent posts in National News