US & Canada

Kalamazoo, Michigan: Six shot dead in 'random' attacks

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Media captionJohn McNeill from WKZO radio station in Kalamazoo said police had recovered a gun

At least six people have been killed in the US in a series of apparently random shootings in the Michigan city of Kalamazoo, police said.

Four people were killed at a restaurant and two at a car dealership. A 14-year-old girl was also "gravely injured".

A 45-year-old local man, Jason Dalton, has been taken into custody.

The suspect is said to be a driver for cab-hailing firm Uber and prosecutors are investigating whether he was taking fares during the shooting spree.

The suspect did not resist when approached by officers and weapons were found in his car, police said. No motive has yet been determined.

Uber has confirmed that Jason Dalton is a driver registered with the app-based cab-hailing company, issuing a statement saying it was "horrified and heartbroken" at the violence.

Image copyright Kalamazoo Police
Image caption Local police released this mugshot of the suspect, 45-year-old local man Jason Dalton

It read: "Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this devastating crime and those recovering from injuries."

Uber said it had carried out a background check on the suspect, and police have confirmed that he did not have a criminal record.

Police are also investigating a Facebook posting from a woman who said that a driver called Jason had been driving erratically while carrying her fiance as a passenger shortly before the shootings.

The posting says 911 was called but "surprisingly they didn't seem all that concerned".

The fiance, Matt Mellen, later told a CBS TV station the driver had crossed central reservations and sped over lawns.

"He just kind of kept looking at me like, 'Don't you want to get to your friend's house?' and I'm like, 'I want to get there alive,'" Mr Mellen said.

Image copyright EVN
Image caption A car dealership was among three shooting locations
Image copyright AP
Image caption People waiting in their vehicles at a restaurant car park were also targeted

Police said none of the victims had been passengers of the suspect.

Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas said the spree was his "worst nightmare", adding: "These are random murders."

The shootings took place on Saturday evening at three locations - outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant, a Kia car dealership and a block of flats.

  • The first shooting took place outside a Kalamazoo residential building at about 17:30 local time (22:30 GMT) on Saturday. A woman was shot multiple times - reportedly in front of her children - and was taken to hospital in a serious condition
  • At about 22:00 local time, two people were shot and killed and a third wounded at the car dealership. The two killed are believed to have been father and son
  • At about 22:15, the third shooting took place in the car park of the Cracker Barrel restaurant. Mary Lou Nye, 62, of Baroda, Michigan, was killed along with Dorothy Brown, 74; Barbara Hawthorne, 68, and Mary Jo Nye, 60, all of Battle Creek, Michigan. A girl, 14, was gravely wounded

Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Getting said on Sunday the suspect was believed to have been in contact via mobile phone with more than one person during the spree.

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