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Jason Dalton on Kalamazoo shootings: “Uber app literally took over his body and mind”

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KALAMAZOO, Michigan — Jason Dalton was reluctant to talk at first because, as he told police, he didn’t want to come across as a “crazy person.”

But, with some prodding, he did, giving investigators a glimpse into what was going through his mind the day of a deadly rampage in Kalamazoo.

Mug shot of Jason Dalton from Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office. He is accused of shooting eight people -- six of them fatally -- in three separate incidents Saturday, February 20, 2016.

Mug shot of Jason Dalton from Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office. He is accused of shooting eight people — six of them fatally — in three separate incidents Saturday, February 20, 2016.

Dalton is accused of killing six people and injuring two others in the western Michigan city over five hours on February 20 in between picking up fares as an Uber driver.

Shortly after the shootings, he told investigators the Uber app made him “like a puppet” and that it would “take over your whole body,” according to documents released Monday and published by CNN affiliate WDIV-TV in Detroit.

“I asked Dalton why he was carrying his firearm tonight and he said that the Uber App literally took over his body and mind,” the documents read. “Dalton explained that when the (Uber) symbol turns to black, it literally has control over you.”

Earlier this month, a prosecutor said Dalton would undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine his competence to stand trial.

Dalton, 45, is charged with six counts of murder. Police have said he does not have a history of mental health issues.

His comments to investigators were disjointed at times. He told them that “he is not a killer and he knows that he has killed,” according to the documents.

When asked whether he had any words for the parents of the child he killed, he said: “I’m sorry.”

Police said they believe Dalton shot people at random, firing first from one vehicle and, after going home and switching cars, from another.

Dalton shot his first victim, Tiana Carruthers, at a playground in front of her children, police said. Carruthers survived.

Dalton then killed Richard Smith, 53, and his son Tyler, 17, at a car dealership, police said.

Police said Dalton committed the last shooting in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant, killing Dorothy Brown, 74; Barbara Hawthorne, 68; Mary Lou Nye, 62; and Mary Jo Nye, 60.


Police said Abigail Kopf, 14, also was shot in the Cracker Barrel parking lot. Last week, she was set to leave the hospital for a rehabilitation facility, according to a Go Fund Me page set up by a family friend.

Abigail Kopf

Abigail Kopf

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