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Michigan mass shooting suspect charged with 6 counts of murder

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) – The man suspected of shooting eight people at random throughout the Kalamazoo area, killing six, is expected to be arraigned Monday on murder charges.

Jason Dalton, 45, was taken into custody early Sunday morning after police say he opened fire at three different locations over the course of nearly five hours Saturday night. A total of six people were killed and two others were injured, including a 14-year-old girl who is in critical condition.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting filed 16 counts against Dalton, including six counts of open murder, two counts of assault with intent to commit murder and eight counts of felony firearm in connection to the crimes.

The Kalamazoo community is reeling from these senseless acts of violence that took so many innocent lives from us, and our hearts are saddened for all of the victims, their families and friends who are dealing with this on a much more personal level. We are reaching out to these victims and offering all the resources of the Prosecutor’s Office to help them at this very difficult time,” Getting stated in a Monday release.

Dalton was an Uber driver who was apparently taking fares in between the shootings, police told 24 Hour News 8.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeffrey Getting said Dalton was even-tempered and cooperative when police arrested him around 12:40 a.m. Sunday during a traffic stop in Kalamazoo. Officers found a semi-automatic handgun inside his vehicle.

After combing state records, 24 Hour News 8 found Dalton does not have a criminal history in Michigan or Indiana.

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley spoke with 24 Hour News 8 Monday morning. He said they are still investigating a possible motive.

“All indicators are that this was completely random. The victims were essentially in the wrong place at the wrong time and happened to be in the same proximity as Mr. Dalton. It is frustrating and we’re continuing to figure out any motives that we could latch onto to give us some reason of understanding of why these things occurred but we just don’t have that yet,” said Chief Hadley.

“The national spotlight has shined bright on Kalamazoo in the last 24 hours and not in the manner that we would like it,” said Hadley. “Our heart continues to go out to the families of the victims from the shooting. We’re here for them and we’re going to do our best as a community to support them.”

A large crowd gathered Sunday night honor the victims: 53-year-old Richard Smith and his 17-year-old son, Tyler, both of Kalamazoo; 60-year-old Mary Jo Nye of Battle Creek, her 62-year-old sister-in-law Mary Lou Nye of Baroda, 68-year-old Barbara Hawthorne and 74-year-old Dorothy Brown, both of Battle Creek.

Additional events are being held on Monday for the community to remember the victims and mourn their loss.

There will be a mass at 12:10 p.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral in Kalamazoo. Another community vigil will be held on Monday at 6 p.m. at First Congregational Church in downtown Kalamazoo.

Gov. Snyder has ordered flags lowered to half-staff for six days starting Monday to honor the six victims killed in Kalamazoo.

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