Michigan Uber Driver Charged With 6 Murder Counts, Denied Bail

Photo: Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety
Update: Uber driver Jason B. Dalton was charged with six murder counts on Monday, February 22, and is being held without bail, NBC News reports. Detectives also stated Monday that Dalton admitted to "taking people's lives," Michigan's MLive reports. Six people were left dead and two more were injured after Dalton's alleged shooting spree in Kalamazoo, MI on Saturday. Dalton is due to reappear in court on March 3.
This article was originally published on February 21, 2016.
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On Sunday, Uber confirmed that the man suspected of going on a shooting rampage that left six people dead and two others seriously wounded in Michigan was one of its drivers, reports The New York Times.

Police identified the suspect as 45-year-old Jason B. Dalton. He allegedly fired at victims selected at random in three separate episodes over more than four hours on Saturday night.

The first incident occurred at an apartment complex, then at a car dealership, and finally outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant. The New York Times reports that a father and son are among the six victims who were killed, while a 14-year-old girl is one of the critically injured and is still fighting for her life.

Authorities said that on Sunday, they were investigating whether Dalton, who worked as an Uber driver in the area, had been transporting passengers on the night of the deadly rampage.

In an interview with local station WWMT, a man named Matt Mellen said that he was picked up by an Uber driver resembling the suspect on Saturday. Mellen told the TV station that the driver ignored a stop sign and swerved through traffic.

“He wouldn’t stop,” Mellen told WWMT. “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.’”

Mellen said that when the driver slowed down, he "jumped out the car and ran away."

Uber spokeswoman Nairi Hourdajian confirmed to The Chicago Tribune that Dalton had driven for Uber, however she wouldn't say whether he picked up customers on Saturday night.

According to The New York Times, an Uber official — who declined to be identified — said that Dalton had passed a company background check.

“We are reaching out to the police to help with their investigation in any way that we can,” said Joe Sullivan, the chief security officer for Uber. “Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this devastating crime and those recovering from injuries.”
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