6 dead in Michigan shooting rampage; suspect in custody
KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. — Police have arrested Jason Brian Dalton in connection with three shooting incidents that killed six people and injured two more in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, prosecutor Jeff Getting said Sunday.
The prosecutor said he expects Dalton to be formally charged Monday.
There is “no reason to believe” that the Saturday evening shooting rampage is related to terrorism, Getting said. Dalton, the lone suspect, apparently picked his victims at random, the prosecutor said.
No motive has been determined yet, he said.
Authorities previously reported that seven people had been killed in the shooting incidents, but Getting said a 14-year-old girl shot at a Cracker Barrel restaurant did not die. She is “gravely injured,” however, he said.
“What it looks like is we have someone just driving around, finding people and shooting them dead in their tracks,” Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas told WOOD-TV.
“This is your worst nightmare, when you have somebody just driving around randomly killing people.”
Dalton, 45, was taken into custody without incident in downtown Kalamazoo early Sunday morning, Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley told WWMT.
“The threat to the public is over,” Matyas told WOOD. “We know this is our suspect. He is in custody.”
Authorities recovered a weapon from the suspect’s car, he said.
The first shooting took place around 6 p.m., when a woman was shot four times in an apartment complex parking lot, Matyas said. She was with her three children. The woman is in serious condition.
Shortly after 10 p.m., two people were shot and killed at a car dealership, Matyas said. Hadley believes the victims were there looking at a vehicle.
Kelly Bainbridge was with her fiance and friends at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo when she started getting texts and calls from concerned family members about the gunman.
“As the shootings continued to occur, the situation because more frightening,” Bainbridge told CNN. She was less than 4 miles away from the dealership.
Some of her friends decided to leave the bar, but Bainbridge and her fiance stayed. The brewery’s owner locked the doors to protect his patrons.
Less than 8 miles away, the third shooting occurred, this time outside a Cracker Barrel. Five people in two separate cars were shot, Michigan State Police Lt. Dale Hinz told WOOD.
“This is obviously a tragic event. Any time a community loses six people in senseless, random acts of violence, (it) is just tragedy for everyone,” Hadley told WWMT. “It’s really tough.”
The suspect was arrested about two blocks away from the brewery, Bainbridge said.
“As we were leaving, we could see police cars and flashing lights just north of us,” she said, “but nothing more.”