Kalamazoo police ID suspect in deadly random shootings

TEXAS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) —  Police are identifying the suspect in a series of random shootings that killed at least six people.

Police said Sunday morning they have 45-year-old Jason Dalton in custody.

A mug shot of Kalamazoo County shooting suspect Jason Dalton. (Michigan Dept. of Corrections)
A mug shot of Kalamazoo County shooting suspect Jason Dalton. (Michigan Dept. of Corrections)

Officers were searching his Douglas Avenue home, located northwest of Kalamazoo around 5 a.m. Sunday.

Officers pulled over a black Chevrolet HHR matching the description of the gunman's vehicle around 12:40 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016.
Officers pulled over a black Chevrolet HHR matching the description of the gunman’s vehicle around 12:40 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016.

       Lt.Dale Hinz said the man and his vehicle match the description of the getaway vehicle, a black Chevrolet HHR, and the suspect who fired shots at three locations.

>>PHOTOS: Kalamazoo County shooting rampage

Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas said their was a weapon inside the suspect’s vehicle, but  he didn’t put up a fight when he was pulled over and arrested at Ransom Street in Kalamazoo around 12:40 a.m. Sunday.

Matyas said the gunman was randomly confronting people and shooting them.

“This is your worst case scenario,” Matyas said early Sunday morning.

Authorities believe the series of shootings began around 6 p.m. Saturday at The Meadows Apartments. (Feb. 21, 2016)
Authorities believe the series of shootings began around 6 p.m. Saturday at The Meadows Apartments. (Feb. 21, 2016)

The investigation began around 5:45 p.m. Saturday at the Meadows Townhomes parking lot in Richland Township, where police said a woman was shot several times.

Matyas said she was outside with her three children when she was wounded.  She was severely injured but is expected to survive, authorities said Sunday.

Police at the Seelye Ford dealership in Kalamazoo where multiple people were shot on Saturday. (Feb. 20, 2016)
Police at the Seelye Ford dealership in Kalamazoo where multiple people were shot on Saturday. (Feb. 20, 2016)

NBC News reports about three hours later, police were then called to Seelye Kia dealership located at 3820 Stadium Drive in Kalamazoo. Matyas said three people were shot at the dealership; a father and his 18-year-old son died from their injuries.  The third victim was in critical condition early Sunday morning.

Around 10:20 p.m., officers were called to the parking lot of a nearby Cracker Barrel restaurant where police said four women were killed and a 14-year-old girl was gravely injured, authorities said.

Paramedics respond to the Feb. 20, 2016 deadly shooting outside a Kalamazoo County Cracker Barrel.
Paramedics respond to the Feb. 20, 2016 deadly shooting outside a Kalamazoo County Cracker Barrel.

Matyas told NBC News the suspect got out of his car at the Cracker Barrel and had a brief conversation with people in two other cars before firing into both vehicles.

A red car towed from the scene had two rear windows shot out and a bullet hole through the windshield on the driver’s side.  A white van also taken from the scene had the driver’s side window and middle window on the passenger’s side shot out.

Shortly before a  7 a.m. news conference,  Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley fought back tears as he thought of the victim’s families.

“My heart truly goes out to them,” he said.  “For the community, [I] just ask for prayers and that we put our arms around these families, we help them.”

kalamazoo shootings map 022116

Michigan State Police and the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety are assisting Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department in the investigation, Matyas said.

TIMELINE: Kalamazoo County shooting rampage

 

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