Michigan shootings Saturday evening left at least seven dead and one injured. The gunman, who is in police custody, drove around Kalamazoo in southwest Michigan, targeting strangers in parking lots from his vehicle.
Reports ABC News on Feb. 21: “The suspect has been identified as Jason Dalton, a 45-year-old white male from Kalamazoo, according to Chief Jeff Hadley of the Kalamazoo County Department of Public Safety. Police said the suspect was driving a dark blue Chevy HHR.”
As of Sunday morning, police said Dalton, a white male, had not yet been charged. Authorities are still investigating the suspect, who is accused of shooting and killing random people in the parking lots of a car dealership, a Cracker Barrel restaurant and an apartment complex before being apprehended early Sunday morning.
Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas said the suspect starting the shootings around 6 p.m. in a parking lot of an apartment complex in Richland Township where a woman was shot multiple times. Her three children with her at the time were not harmed. Approximately four hours later, Dalton shot and killed a father and son, 18, who were looking at cars in the parking lot of a Kia car dealership on Stadium Drive.
Fifteen minutes later, the suspect drove to a Cracker Barrel restaurant on I-94 and gunned down five more people, including a 14-year-old girl. Adds NBC News: “In that shooting, about two miles from the car dealership, the suspect got out of his car and started a brief conversation with people in two other cars, Matyas said. After a few seconds of talking, the gunman unloaded his weapon into both cars.”
Matyas said the shootings were “our worst case scenario… These are random murders,” he said, according to the NY Post, adding: “The threat to the public is over.”
Dalton was arrested at 12:40 a.m. on Ransom Street in Kalamazoo after police located his vehicle. Officials said he was taken into custody without incident, and that a number of weapons were found in his vehicle. Police would not disclose the type of firearms found in Dalton’s car. Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley said Dalton has no prior arrests or criminal record.
“We had no problem with him,” Matyas said of Dalton’s apprehension. “In this particular case, we’re just thankful it ended the way it did — before he could really kill anybody else.”
“There’s no common denominator with any of these,” Matyas added. “This person was just waiting in the parking lot of the apartment complex. The one at the dealership, they were looking at cars. The ones at Cracker Barrel, they were just sitting in their cars. There is absolutely no common denominator… through race, age, anything.”
At 5 a.m. this Sunday morning, police could be seen parked outside of Dalton’s Douglas Avenue home. Officials were searching the home and removing items.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, the Michigan shooting is the 28th mass shooting in the U.S. in 2016. The site lists all incidents where at least four individuals were shot.
“In summary, what it looks like is we have somebody just driving around, finding people and shooting them dead in their tracks,” Undersheriff Matyas said, adding that they “have no motive whatsoever” for the Michigan shootings.