On the night of Feb. 20, 45-year old Uber driver Jason Brian Dalton killed six people and injured two over the course of nearly six hours. The shootings occurred sporadically at three different locations in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
CNN reported that he first shot a woman multiple times in front of her children in an apartment complex parking lot at 5:42 p.m. Approximately four hours later, Dalton killed a father and son at a car dealership and then opened fire in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant.
“These were very deliberate killings,” prosecutor Jeffrey Getting said. He also described the shootings as “coldly done.”
Before and in between the shootings, Dalton drove for Uber and picked up passengers. One of these passengers was Matt Mellen, who Dalton picked up before the first shooting. “We got about a mile from my house, and he got a telephone call,” Mellen said. “After that call, he started driving erratically, running stop signs.”
On Feb. 22, CNN reported that Dalton was charged with six counts of murder, two counts of assault with intent to commit murder and eight firearm violations.
The nature of the phone call Mellen reported is still unknown, and authorities have yet to discover whether it played a role in the rampage. Additionally, Dalton had no criminal record and there is seemingly no connection between the victims of his shootings. Motive is still unknown. Authorities seem to believe that Dalton, who was an average joe, was “somebody who was having an issue at the time and for whatever reason they decided to do what they did” (CNN).
The shootings have also sparked debate about stricter requirements for Uber drivers.
Carina Wang, Staff Writer
Sophomore Carina Wang is a staff writer for the 2015-2016 Colonel. She is on the FIRST Robotics team.