Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting praised law enforcement officials for apprehending the suspect: "There's just no question more people would have died if they hadn't found him when they did"

By Kathy Ehrich Dowd
February 21, 2016 12:05 PM
Mark Bugnaski/Kalamazoo Gazette

The Michigan Uber driver suspected in several weekend shootings that killed six and injured two has admitted “his involvement in these incidents,” Kalamazoo County prosecutor Jeff Getting told reporters, .

The suspect, 45-year-old Jason Dalton, opened fire in three different locations around Kalamazoo, Michigan, Saturday, and seemingly targeted people because they were “available.”

“It’s totally unprovoked, random acts of violence,” said Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley, according to MLive.com. “We’re still trying to figure out the motives.”

The shooting spree reportedly began around 6 p.m. in the parking lot of a townhouse community in Richland Township, where he shot a woman four times. She is currently in critical condition, according to WZZM.

Later, the shooter moved on to a Ford dealership in Kalamazoo shortly before 10:30 p.m., where he was believed to have shot and killed a father and son who were looking at a car in a parking lot.

After that, the gunman reportedly moved on to the parking lot of a local Cracker Barrel, where he shot and killed four people. A fifth victim, a 14-year-old girl, is “severely, gravely injured,” Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting said in a press conference early Sunday morning, per MLive.

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Authorities ultimately apprehended alleged Dalton after his Chevrolet HHR was spotted leaving the parking lot of a bar in downtown Kalamazoo, quickly pulling him over and arresting him “without incident,” said Getting.

Jason Dalton
Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office/AP

Getting also praised law enforcement officials for promptly arresting Dalton and preventing more violence.

“There’s just no question more people would have died if they hadn’t found him when they did,” he said.

Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Hadley reiterated to PEOPLE that his arrest saved lives.

“I have every belief that he would have continued to shoot if he was not apprehended,” he said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the men and women who top to bottom dealt with that situation.”

Hadley also said they are investigating reports that Dalton was an Uber driver. They are also “trying to track his movements prior to the shooting.”

“We executed a search warrant on his home and are gathering evidence. We are trying and see anything we can glean from that to see why these events occurred,” he said.

Hadley also confirmed Dalton will be arraigned Monday afternoon.

Getting said during Sunday morning’s press conference that it appears the alleged shooter did not know his victims or target them in advance.

“They appear to have been chosen at random because they were available,” he said.