Suspect In Kalamazoo Shooting To Be Arraigned On Monday
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And let's now go to the scene of a shooting spree. Six people were killed over the weekend in Kalamazoo, Mich. Police have a suspect in custody, but this community is struggling to understand why this happened. Here's Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta.
RICK PLUTA, BYLINE: Authorities say they believe the shooter is 45-year-old Jason Brian Dalton, a driver for the Uber ride-hailing service. Uber has confirmed that Dalton cleared the company's background check, and it appears the suspect was picking up fares at the same time as the shooting spree was underway. A man who asked to be identified only by his middle name Derek says he and members of his family caught a ride with Dalton a little after midnight.
DEREK: I jokingly said to the driver, you aren't the shooter, are you? And he either shook his head or said no. And I said, are you sure? And his response wasn't like you would expect, like a laugh, like a nope, not me. It was just very calm and quiet. It was I'm just tired. No, I'm just tired.
PLUTA: Derek asked NPR to only use his middle name because he's concerned about speaking publicly about an active murder investigation. The string of shootings took place over several hours at three locations that are miles apart. Authorities believe the victims were randomly selected. The shooting spree started in the early evening outside an apartment complex where a woman was shot five times. That victim was hospitalized. More than four hours passed before the next shooting. A father and son were shot dead at a car dealership. And then about 15 minutes later, four people were killed and one injured sitting in their vehicles in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant. All told, six people killed and two were injured. Several hundred people attended a vigil last night held by local churches.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Singing) Amazing grace...
PLUTA: Julie Kieser helped organize the service.
JULIE KIESER: Got a text at 6:30 in the morning and just your stomach sinks just immediately thinking of the tragedy for the people who lost people they love.
PLUTA: There were prayers for the victims but also a prayer for Dalton, more specifically for his soul. Dalton is to be arraigned later today. For NPR News, I'm Rick Pluta in Kalamazoo, Mich. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.