Kalamazoo shooting suspect an Uber driver who took fares during rampage, local police say
Suspected Kalamazoo, Michigan shooter Jason Dalton reportedly works as an Uber driver, and even took on fares during his alleged rampage.
The chilling detail comes from 24 Hour News 8 in Michigan, which cited local police. Dalton reportedly dropped off a group at a Fairfield Inn in Texas Township, Michigan that was right next door to the Cracker Barrel restaurant — the third shooting location — where five people were gunned down on Saturday evening.
SEE ALSO: Gunman randomly shoots, kills 6 in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Uber later confirmed Dalton's status as a driver for the company in an official statement, shared with 24 Hour News 8. The station's own Luke Stier, who has provided ongoing updates via Twitter, noted that Dalton "had passed a background check."
Police are investigating reports from the Fairfield Inn, including an eyewitness. A woman at the hotel reportedly went outside to investigate after she heard gunfire and saw the suspect driving away from Cracker Barrel at "a normal rate of speed," the station stated.
Click through reactions to the shooting on social media:
County Prosecutor Jeffrey Getting also confirmed that police are investigating a recent Facebook post from an alleged former passenger of Dalton's. The post, which was shared sometime before the shooting, recounts an unpleasant ride with a man who may have been Dalton that included a hit-and-run car accident and generally unsafe driving.
The Facebook post appears to have since been pulled, but it's preserved in screencaps. The post's author chose not to comment when contacted by local news.
BREAKING: We've talked to woman who posted about bad Uber driver before shooting. Doesn't want to comment right now. pic.twitter.com/XLyF9cPCrW— Luke Stier (@LukeStier) February 21, 2016
For the sake of comparison, here's the officially released police mugshot of Dalton after his arrest:
Michigan State Police have identified the victims in the Cracker Barrel shooting, in which the occupants of two cars were targeted.
In one car, the sole occupant — Mary Lou Nye, 62, of Baroda, Michigan — was killed. In the other, Battle Creek, Michigan residents Mary Jo Nye, 60, Dorothy Brown, 74, and Barbara Hawthorne, 68, were also killed. The as-yet-unidentified 14-year-old survivor of the shooting — who is in critical condition at Kalamazoo's Bronson Hospital — was also in the second car.
Two other victims, both of whom were shot and killed at a Kalamazoo Kia dealership shortly before the Cracker Barrel incident, remain unidentified. The city's Public Safety department confirmed to local news that their identities won't be released until Monday, Feb. 22.
Here is Uber's statement:
"We are horrified and heartbroken at the senseless violence in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this devastating crime and those recovering from injuries. We are reaching out to the police to help with their investigation in any way that we can."
This continues to be a developing story as police investigate the suspected shooter.Mashable has reached out to Uber for comment.
UPDATED Feb. 21 11:58 a.m. ET with the identities of the Cracker Barrel victims and Uber's confirmation of Dalton's status as a driver.
UPDATED Feb. 21 12:24 p.m. ET with information about when the identities of the other shooting victims will be revealed.