Suspect in Kalamazoo shootings claims Uber app was controlling him

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Jason Dalton

KALAMAZOO, Michigan (March 14, 2016) — The Latest in the criminal case against a man accused of fatally shooting six people last month in the Kalamazoo, Michigan, area:

7:10 p.m.

An Uber passenger who told police he was driven by Jason Dalton from a brewery to his hotel said he contacted the ride-sharing service after hearing about a series of shootings in the Kalamazoo area.

The man says in documents released Monday by police that he “did not feel it was safe to be walking while there was an active shooter.”

Dalton is charged in the random Feb. 20 slayings of six people and wounding of two others at three separate locations. He was working as an Uber driver that day.

The passenger’s Uber ride was just after midnight, shortly before Dalton was arrested. He told police one of his fellow passengers asked Dalton if he was the shooter. Dalton said no, adding “I’m just tired.”

___

6:45 p.m.

The girlfriend of one of the Kalamazoo-area shooting victims says she witnessed the ambush and slayings of her 17-year-old boyfriend and his father.

The girl told police in documents released Monday that she watched from the rear of Tyler Smith’s Range Rover as a man walked up to Tyler and 53-year-old Richard Smith at a car dealership as they looked at a pickup truck.

She said she believes the man said something to the Smiths and “then he just began to shoot them,” before leaving. The Smiths were two of six people slain during the rampage. Two others were wounded.

Jason Dalton has been charged with murder and attempted murder.

___

4:30 p.m.

A police report says the man charged with killing six people and wounding two others in southwestern Michigan told investigators he was being controlled by an Uber app through his cellphone.

Authorities say he carried out the shootings in between driving for Uber. According to the report released Monday, Jason Dalton said “it feels like it is coming from the phone itself and he didn’t know how to describe that.”

Dalton is charged with murder and attempted murder in the Kalamazoo-area shootings Feb. 20 outside an apartment complex, a restaurant and at a car lot. Two people survived.

Police say in the report Dalton said “he is not a killer and he knows that he has killed.”

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3:40 p.m.

A man charged with killing six people in a series of shootings in southwestern Michigan had warned his wife she wouldn’t be able to return to work and their children couldn’t go back to school — and she’d understand everything by watching TV news.

Carole Dalton told investigators she was stumped by what Jason Dalton told her the night of the shootings. At that time, the first shooting had already occurred.

The details are in documents released Monday by the Kalamazoo County sheriff’s office, responding to a public records request by The Associated Press and others.

Jason Dalton is charged with murder and attempted murder in the Kalamazoo-area shootings Feb. 20 outside a restaurant and at a car lot. Two people survived, including a woman shot elsewhere.

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