Sunday, February 21, 2016

6 Dead, 2 Wounded After Random Shootings in Michigan

6 Dead, 2 Wounded After Random Shootings in Michigan

Police have arrested Jason Brian Dalton in connection with three shooting incidents that killed six people and injured two more in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, prosecutor Jeff Getting said Sunday.

Six people were killed and two others wounded in a series of random shootings in Michigan Saturday evening, police said. A 14-year-old girl was shot and very seriously injured. Authorities earlier said that she'd died.

Jason Brian Dalton, 45, was taken into custody early Sunday and was being questioned over shootings at three different locations in Kalamazoo County, police said.

"There is no connection between any of them, this all appears to be random," Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas said. "This is the worst-case scenario that any community can have."

The shooting spree began at around 6 p.m., when a woman at a Kalamazoo County apartment complex was shot several times, Kalamazoo Country Prosecutor Jeff Getting said. She was in serious condition but expected to survive, he said.

Police were then called to a car dealership about 10 p.m. where two men, one of them an 18-year-old, were fatally shot, Getting said.

About 10 minutes later, a third shooting took place in the parking lot of a nearby Cracker Barrel restaurant where four women were fatally shot, and the 14-year-old girl was seriously injured, Getting said.

In that shooting, the suspect got out of his car and started a brief conversation with people in two other cars, Matyas said. After a few seconds of talking, the gunman "unloaded his weapon into both cars," Matyas said.

Dalton was taken into custody at around 12:40 a.m. after being stopped, police said. Getting said a semi-automatic handgun was seized in the arrest.

Getting said the shootings appear to be premeditated, but that the victims were thought to have been chosen at random. He said he had no doubt that police work saved more lives from being lost.

"We have 9, 10, 11 shell casings at each of these scenes," he said, adding that police were investigating to ensure there no other crime scenes. "These weren't a sudden explosion… this was done intentionally."

Getting said police were told that the 14-year-old girl was deceased, but it was a "miracle" that she was alive.

"I don't know how to talk about it in medical terms — they thought she was deceased, [but] she wasn't. Call it a miracle, call it what you want, but she is alive now."

Police have not released the names of the victims, Getting said, as they have not finished notifying their relatives.