Michigan Uber driver interrupts hearing on murder charges

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Kalamazoo Shooting Suspect Dragged Out After Outburst

KALAMAZOO, Mich., May 20 (Reuters) - A Michigan Uber driver accused of killing six people in a five-hour spree in February was hauled out of a preliminary hearing on Friday after he interrupted and gestured at a witness who was testifying.

Jason Dalton, 45, is charged with shooting eight people, killing six of them, on Feb. 20 in between driving customers for the Uber car service in Kalamazoo, Michigan, about 150 miles (240 km) north of Detroit.

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Dalton was in court on Friday for a preliminary hearing before Kalamazoo County District Judge Christopher Haenicke, who was to hear testimony from witnesses and decide whether there is enough evidence to try the defendant on the charges.

Tiana Carruthers, who reportedly was shot three times after putting herself between the shooter and some children she was taking care of, was the first witness to take the stand on Friday morning.

During her testimony, Dalton made a gesture toward her and also made several verbal outbursts.

See more of the aftermath of the shooting:

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6 dead in Kalamazoo County Uber driver shooting spree, Michigan, aftermath, Jason Dalton
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Michigan Uber driver interrupts hearing on murder charges
Jason Brian Dalton, 45, of Cooper Township, Mich., in a video arraignment on multiple murder charges on Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, at the Kalamazoo County Courthouse in Kalamazoo, Mich. (Jessica J. Trevino/Detroit Free Press/TNS via Getty Images)
FILE- In a Feb. 22, 2016 file photo, Jason Dalton, of of Kalamazoo Township, Mich., is arraigned via video in Kalamazoo, Mich. Dalton, charged with killing six people in a series of shootings in southwestern Michigan, had warned his wife the night of the shootings that 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. The details are in documents released Monday, March 14, by the Kalamazoo County sheriff's office, responding to a public records request by The Associated Press and others. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting is interviewed after filing charges on Jason Dalton, Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Mich. Dalton is charged with multiple counts of murder in a series of random shootings in western Michigan. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
People gather in Bronson Park in Kalamazoo, Mich., Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, for a candlelight vigil for the victims of a series of random shootings in the Kalamazoo area over the weekend. Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo Township was charged with six counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder in the shootings and then arraigned on the charges. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
This image provided by the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office shows Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo County. Dalton was arrested early Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016 in downtown Kalamazoo following a massive manhunt after several victims were shot at random. (Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office via AP)
Map locates shootings in Kalamazoo, Michigan; 2c x 4 inches; 96.3 mm x 101 mm;
KALAMAZOO, MI - FEBRUARY 21: Flowers and crime scene tape hang from a tree in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel where a gunman went on a shooting rampage, on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Authorities said that a shooter who killed six people and injured two others was an Uber driver who appears to have gunned down people at random during a four-hour rampage in the parking lots of a western Michigan apartment complex, a car dealeship and a Cracker Barrel store. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Police tape surrounds the area of a random shooting on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, in Kalamazoo, Mich. Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo County was arrested early Sunday in downtown Kalamazoo following a massive manhunt after several victims were shot at random. (AP Photo/Jeff Karoub)
Bullet holes that pierced the siding of a townhome are marked on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016 in Ricland Township, Mich., the scene of a random. Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo County was arrested early Sunday in downtown Kalamazoo following a massive manhunt after several victims were shot at random.(AP Photo/Mike Householder)
KALAMAZOO, MI - FEBRUARY 21: A general view of the Cracker Barrel where a gunman went on a shooting rampage, on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Authorities said that a shooter who killed six people and injured two others was an Uber driver who appears to have gunned down people at random during a four-hour rampage in the parking lots of a western Michigan apartment complex, a car dealeship and a Cracker Barrel store. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
KALAMAZOO, MI - FEBRUARY 21: A man places flowers at Kia Dealship where a gunman went on a shooting rampage on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Authorities said that a shooter who killed six people and injured two others was an Uber driver who appears to have gunned down people at random during a four-hour rampage in the parking lots of a western Michigan apartment complex, a car dealeship and a Cracker Barrel store. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
KALAMAZOO, MI - FEBRUARY 21: A woman places flowers at a Cracker Barrel where a gunman went on a shooting rampage, on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Authorities said that a shooter who killed six people and injured two others was an Uber driver who appears to have gunned down people at random during a four-hour rampage in the parking lots of a western Michigan apartment complex, a car dealeship and a Cracker Barrel store. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
KALAMAZOO, MI - FEBRUARY 21: A rose is placed in the door at the Kia Dealship where a gunman went on a shooting rampage on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Authorities said that a shooter who killed six people and injured two others was an Uber driver who appears to have gunned down people at random during a four-hour rampage in the parking lots of a western Michigan apartment complex, a car dealeship and a Cracker Barrel store. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Police tape surrounds the area of a random shooting on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, in Kalamazoo, Mich. Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo County was arrested early Sunday in downtown Kalamazoo following a massive manhunt after several victims were shot at random.(AP Photo/Mike Householder)
KALAMAZOO, MI - FEBRUARY 21: Media report in front of the Cracker Barrel where a gunman went on a shooting rampage, on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Authorities said that a shooter who killed six people and injured two others was an Uber driver who appears to have gunned down people at random during a four-hour rampage in the parking lots of a western Michigan apartment complex, a car dealeship and a Cracker Barrel store. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
KALAMAZOO, MI - FEBRUARY 21: People gather and pray at Center Point Church following a mass shooting on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Authorities said that a shooter who killed six people and injured two others was an Uber driver who appears to have gunned down people at random during a four-hour rampage in the parking lots of a western Michigan apartment complex, a car dealership and a Cracker Barrel store on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
KALAMAZOO, MI - FEBRUARY 21: People gather and pray at Center Point Church following a mass shooting on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Authorities said that a shooter who killed six people and injured two others was an Uber driver who appears to have gunned down people at random during a four-hour rampage in the parking lots of a western Michigan apartment complex, a car dealership and a Cracker Barrel store on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
KALAMAZOO, MI - FEBRUARY 21: Lt. Governor Brian Calley speaks at a prayer service at the Center Point Church following a mass shooting on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Authorities said that a shooter who killed six people and injured two others was an Uber driver who appears to have gunned down people at random during a four-hour rampage in the parking lots of a western Michigan apartment complex, a car dealership and a Cracker Barrel store on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
KALAMAZOO, MI - FEBRUARY 21: People gather and pray at Center Point Church following a mass shooting on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Authorities said that a shooter who killed six people and injured two others was an Uber driver who appears to have gunned down people at random during a four-hour rampage in the parking lots of a western Michigan apartment complex, a car dealership and a Cracker Barrel store on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
KALAMAZOO, MI - FEBRUARY 21: People gather and pray at Center Point Church following a mass shooting on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Authorities said that a shooter who killed six people and injured two others was an Uber driver who appears to have gunned down people at random during a four-hour rampage in the parking lots of a western Michigan apartment complex, a car dealership and a Cracker Barrel store on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
KALAMAZOO, MI - FEBRUARY 21: People gather and pray at Center Point Church following a mass shooting on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Authorities said that a shooter who killed six people and injured two others was an Uber driver who appears to have gunned down people at random during a four-hour rampage in the parking lots of a western Michigan apartment complex, a car dealership and a Cracker Barrel store on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
KALAMAZOO, MI - FEBRUARY 21: People gather and pray at Center Point Church following a mass shooting on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Authorities said that a shooter who killed six people and injured two others was an Uber driver who appears to have gunned down people at random during a four-hour rampage in the parking lots of a western Michigan apartment complex, a car dealership and a Cracker Barrel store on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
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Carruthers began to cry, and deputies restrained Dalton and dragged him out of the courtroom.

After the disruption, the judge called a recess.

In April a judge ruled that Dalton was mentally competent to stand trial after the Center for Forensic Psychiatry said he understood the charges against him.

(Writing by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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