Jason Dalton

Jason Dalton (credit: Kalamazoo County Sherrif's Department)

Trial Date Set For Uber Driver, 3 Years After Kalamazoo Shooting Rampage

August 10, 2018 - 6:05 pm

KALAMAZOO (WWJ/AP) - A January, 2019 trial date has been set in the case of an Uber driver charged with killing six people after a prosecutor said he won't appeal a decision that keeps a lid on parts of a police interview.

Kalamazoo County prosecutor Jeff Getting said it's time to bring the "matter to trial without further delay."

The state appeals court recently threw out some statements made by Jason Dalton following the shootings in February 2016, and Getting said he will not appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Jury selection will start Jan. 3.

Dalton is charged with killing six people and wounding two others while driving for Uber while, he claims, a "devil figure" on Uber's app was controlling him.

The alleged shooter, who was 45 years old at thie time, told authorities after his arrest that when you “plug into” the Uber app, “you can actually feel the presence on you.” He said the difference between the night of the shootings and others was that an icon on the Uber app that is normally red “had changed to black.”

Dalton said Uber app on his phone took him over the day of the shootings, saying that at one point he went to his home, put several guns into a bag and put them in his vehicle.

The first victim, Tiana Carruthers, 25, was asked if she had called Uber for a ride before she was shot multiple times outside an apartment complex. She survived the shooting.

Later, Richard Smith and his 17-year-old son, Tyler, were shot and killed while looking at vehicles at a car dealership. Dalton said he told them, “hello,” before he opened fire..

Dalton then drove to a Cracker Barrell restaurant, where he told detectives that he shot 62-year-old Mary Lou Nye, a retired teacher, after asking “if she could spare a dollar to make America great again,” according to a police report.

Dalton said he was going to leave after shooting Nye, but he heard other people screaming, so he turned his gun on them. In all, four people were killed inside two cars parked outside the restaurant — Nye, her 60-year-old sister Mary Jo Nue, 74-year-old Dorothy Brown and 68-year-old Barbara Hawthorne. A fifth person, 14-year-old Abigail Kopf, was wounded.

Dalton said “he came back to reality” when police arrested him early the next morning, according to the report, and has since been found mentally competent to stand trial. 

He is not accused of shooting any Uber cusomers. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.