KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The man suspected of shooting eight people in the Kalamazoo area, killing six, was an Uber driver who was apparently taking fares in between opening fire at various locations, police tell 24 Hour News 8.
Authorities are investigating reports that Jason Dalton dropped off a group of people at a Fairfield Inn Marriott in Texas Township, then went next door to the Cracker Barrel and allegedly opened fired on two vehicles, killing four people.
A woman at the hotel said she heard about 10 shots, then ran outside and saw the suspect driving away from the Cracker Barrel at a normal rate of speed.
People at the hotel said the passengers dropped off there were interviewed by police.
Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeffrey Getting confirmed that authorities are looking to a Facebook post by some apparent Uber passengers who were in Dalton’s vehicle when he was allegedly involved in a sideswipe hit-and-run crash, ran at least one stop sign, and was driving erratically just before the shootings.
Sunday, Uber told 24 Hour News 8 that Dalton had passed a background check and had a driver-partner. It said it is aiding police with their investigation.
The company provided this statement from its chief security officer, Joe Sullivan:
“We are horrified and heartbroken at the senseless violence in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this devastating crime and those recovering from injuries. We are reaching out to the police to help with their investigation in any way that we can.”
After combing state records, 24 Hour News 8 found Dalton, 45, does not have a criminal history in Michigan or Indiana.
As of Sunday morning, little more was known about Dalton, who police say chose his victims at random.
Investigators were at his home on Douglas Avenue, northwest of Kalamazoo, searching for evidence. Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley told 24 Hour News 8 that police were looking for Dalton’s hard drive and more weapons at the home.
Detectives believe Dalton shot eight people outside a townhouse, restaurant and vehicle dealership in Kalamazoo County, killing four women, a father and his 18-year-old son.
A 14-year-old girl was in grave condition Sunday morning; a woman shot several times was severely injured but expected to survive, Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeffrey Getting said.