KALAMAZOO, Mich. (Feb. 22, 2016) – The Uber driver who’s accused of killing six people during a shooting rampage in Kalamazoo, Mich., has ties to Indiana.
Jason Dalton, 45, attended school in Hancock County, according to Eastern Hancock High School Principal David Pfaff. Dalton was at Eastern Hancock for seventh, eighth and ninth grades. His family moved before his sophomore year in 1986. He was described as an above-average student and a promising athlete who participated in football, wrestling and track.
“He was never involved in any type of trouble here that I am aware of,” said Pfaff, who was a teacher and coach at the school at the time.
Police described Dalton’s weekend rampage as random. Six people died; a seventh victim was shot in front of her children, and a 14-year-old girl was in critical condition. Kalamazoo police said Dalton “was not on anybody’s radar” prior to the Saturday shooting spree.
He faces six counts of murder, two counts of assault with intent to commit murder and eight firearms charges.
It all happened as Dalton, who drove for Uber, shot at an apartment complex, a car dealership and restaurant parking lot. Between shootings, he picked up and dropped off Uber passengers, including an Indianapolis couple.
The couple asked to remain anonymous but told FOX59 they turned to Uber after hearing a gunman was on the loose. They considered it a safe option, and had no idea what Dalton was involved in.
“At that time, he was just really quiet and reserved,” said an Indianapolis man who sat in the front passenger seat next to Dalton.
The couple mentioned the shooting during the ride and Dalton appeared to be aware of it. They even asked him about it.
“I halfheartedly joked with him and said you are not the shooter are you? He said no, and I said are you sure….and he said no I’m just really tired. Looking back, it was a weird way to respond,” one of the passengers told FOX59.
Neighbors told CNN that Dalton is married with two children and seemed “very level and calm… a real nice guy.” Neighbor Gary Pardo and his wife, Sally, lived across the street from Dalton and his family for 10 years, describing them as a “typical American family.” Gary Pardo also said he was aware that Dalton “liked guns.”
Police are still trying to pin down a motive for Dalton’s shooting rampage.