Police seek motive for Kalamazoo shooting rampage as suspect charged with six counts of murder
The Uber driver authorities say fatally shot six peopleduring a series of seemingly random attacks over the weekend was formally charged with murder Monday as questions swirled around what motivated the bloody spree.
Jason Brian Dalton, 45, was charged with six counts of murder and 10 other counts, according to a copy of the complaint filed in court and signed by Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeffrey Getting.
Dalton faces up to life in prison if convicted in Michigan, which does not have the death penalty. He will be arraigned Monday afternoon, nearly two days after the shooting rampage that spanned several hours across this area.
“The filing of formal charges is the first step in the judicial process.” Getting said in a statement. He added that even after the charges, “the investigation is not over and the search for answers will continue.”
The shootings made Kalamazoo the latest American city rocked by a mass shooting, joining a long list that, since last year, has grown to include San Bernardino, Calif., Roseburg, Ore. and Charleston, S.C.
In Kalamazoo, the rampage added a new twist to what has become a grim feature of American life. Rather than a burst of sudden, unexpected violence in a seemingly safe location — a movie theater, a school, a holiday party — the shootings here were mobile, gunshots apparently fired from an Uber car that authorities and riders say continued seeking riders after the bloodshed began.
These shootings appeared to be “completely and totally random,” Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley said.
Dalton, by his own account, had been driving for Uber only a short time. But he was already alarming passengers. Late Saturday afternoon, he picked up a customer for a short ride; passenger Matthew Mellen said that Dalton’s reckless driving so terrified him that he practically leaped out of the car.