Home / U.S / Kalamazoo Shootings Leave 6 Dead, Michigan Police Say – New York Times
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Kalamazoo Shootings Leave 6 Dead, Michigan Police Say – New York Times

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The police outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Texas Township, Mich., that was the site of some of the shootings. Credit Mark Bugnaski/Kalamazoo Gazette, via Associated Press

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Six people in the Kalamazoo, Mich., area were killed and two more were injured Saturday night by a gunman who the police said randomly opened fire as he drove around the city and its suburbs.

After several anxious hours, law enforcement officials stopped a dark blue Chevrolet HHR in downtown Kalamazoo and arrested a suspect.

He was identified at a news conference early Sunday as Jason B. Dalton, 45. He has no known criminal record, Kalamazoo County officials said. He could be charged with the crimes as early as Monday, they said.

A semi-automatic handgun was recovered from the car, the Kalamazoo County prosecutor Jeffrey Getting said at the news conference. He said the weapon seemed to match the evidence from the shooting scenes.

“We are very confident that we have the right person in custody,” Mr. Getting said.

Investigators have determined that the suspect was in touch with more than one person over the course of the evening and they are examining his cell phone for more evidence, Mr. Getting said. But he said Mr. Dalton is the only person expected to be charged. The authorities have no information that anyone else was involved, he said.

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Jason B. Dalton, 45, was named as the suspect in the shootings. Credit Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office, via Associated Press

He declined to identify a motive for the shootings, but suggested that something might have happened recently in Mr. Dalton’s life.

The shootings began Saturday evening. They were reported at a Cracker Barrel restaurant, a car dealership and other locations. At the Cracker Barrel, in Texas Township, prosecutors said the victims were shot outside the restaurant.

At the car dealership, an 18-year-old man and an older man were fatally shot. Local news media reports identified them as a father and son.

Two more shootings occurred at an intersection near the restaurant and at a residence in Richland Township, where a woman was shot multiple times.

The authorities had mistakenly put the death toll at seven earlier but revised it downward to six. A teenage girl who was gravely injured had been erroneously counted among the dead.

The prosecutor grew emotional as he described the chaotic scene and the scramble by police to respond to the shootings and find the gunman.

“There’s this sense of loss, there’s this anger, there’s fear, there’s all these emotions,” Mr. Getting said. “You put on top of that: How do you go and tell the families of these victims that they weren’t targeted for any reason than they were there to be a target?”

The rampage, which took place over several hours, had the authorities and people in the Kalamazoo region on high alert.

“We have multiple people dead,” Undersheriff Paul Matyas of Kalamazoo County said. “In summary, what it looks like is we have somebody just driving around, finding people and shooting them dead in their tracks.”

The police were looking for a dark blue Chevrolet HHR, a crossover SUV. The Chevrolet in which Mr. Dalton was arrested appeared to match images of a vehicle from surveillance video at the Ford dealership, Lt. Dale Hintz of the Michigan State Police told WWMT-TV.

Officers from the Department of Public Safety and deputies from the Kalamazoo Sheriff’s Department spotted the suspect’s car in downtown Kalamazoo, pulled him over and arrested him, the authorities said. No shots were fired.

Mr. Getting praised the police response and said the early-morning arrest likely stopped more bloodshed.

“There’s just no question that more people would have died,” Mr. Getting said.

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