Uber driver charged with six counts of murder over 'random' Kalamazoo killings

Suspect Jason Brian Dalton, 45, faces life behind bars for killing six people and wounding two others


Rachael Revesz
New York
Monday 22 February 2016 17:13 GMT
Suspect Jason Dalton faces six counts of murder and two more of assault with the intent to commit murder
Suspect Jason Dalton faces six counts of murder and two more of assault with the intent to commit murder (Reuters)

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The Uber driver who went on a mass shooting spree in Kalamazoo County, Michigan and killed six people and wounded two more faces a life sentence behind bars, according to prosecutors.

CNN reported that the suspect, 45-year-old Jason Brian Dalton, was arrested without incident in Kalamazoo just two hours after the final shooting on Saturday and will appear in court on Monday.

He has been charged with six counts of murder, according to Associated Press, and two counts of assault with intent to commit murder, filed by prosecutor Jeffrey Getting said.

The murder charges face a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole, he added.

Mr Dalton allegedly carried out killings at three different areas of the County on Saturday evening, picking up and dropping off Uber passengers along the way.

The victims have been identified as Richard Smith, 53, and his 17-year-old son Tyler; Dorothy Brown, 74; Barbara Hawthorne, 68; Mary Lou Nye, 62; and Mary Jo Nye, 60.

One Uber passenger jokingly asked him: “You’re not the shooter, are you?” to which Mr Dalton said: “No, I’m not, I’m just tired” and carried on a “normal conversation” with his passenger.

Passenger Matt Mellen, told CNN that he was riding in Mr Dalton’s car just before the shootings started. Mr Dalton got a telephone call and started to drive “erratically” after that, skipping red lights.

It is not yet known who the call was from and whether that triggered the series of shootings.

Uber's chief security officer told CNN that Dalton passed a background check.

The news comes just days after Uber was reported to pay $28.5 million to settle claims that it misled customers over providing “industry-leading” background checks on its drivers and failing to take fingerprint checks.

Police said Dalton did not have a criminal record and his motive is unknown.

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