US & Canada

Kalamazoo, Michigan: Taxi driver held over 'random' killings

Flowers lie outside a car dealership in Kalamazoo, Mich Image copyright AP
Image caption Flowers were laid in the car park outside the car dealership where a father and son were killed

A taxi driver is being held over the deaths of six people in an apparently random shooting spree in the Michigan city of Kalamazoo.

Jason Brian Dalton, 45, was arrested after attacks at three locations on Saturday evening. Two people, including a 14-year-old girl, remain seriously ill in hospital.

It has been confirmed that Mr Dalton was a driver for cab-hailing app Uber.

Prosecutors are investigating whether he took fares between attacks.

One local resident said he experienced a hair-raising ride in Mr Dalton's car shortly before the first incident, which prompted him to call the police.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting says the suspect is likely to face multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder when he appears in court on Monday.

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

The shootings took place outside a block of flats, a Kia car dealership and a Cracker Barrel restaurant:

  • At 17:30 local time (22:30 GMT): A woman is shot multiple times - reportedly in front of her children - outside a Kalamazoo residential building. She is taken to hospital in a serious condition
  • At about 22:00: Tyler Smith, 17, and his father, Richard, 53, are shot and killed outside the car dealership. A third person is also wounded
  • At 22:15: Mary Lou Nye, 62, is killed along with Dorothy Brown, 74, Barbara Hawthorne, 68, and Mary Jo Nye, 60, in the car park of the Cracker Barrel restaurant. A girl, 14, is gravely wounded

Uber says it did a background check on Mr Dalton, and police have confirmed that he did not have a criminal record.

In a statement, the firm said it was "horrified and heartbroken" at the violence.

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

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionJohn McNeill from WKZO radio station in Kalamazoo said police recovered a gun from the suspect's car

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

Mr Dalton was arrested in the early hours of Sunday following a police manhunt.

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