, CHICAGO, United States, Feb 22 – A man arrested on suspicion of shooting dead six people in the northern US state of Michigan was an Uber driver who may have picked up fares during the killing spree, officials and media reported.
The suspect, 45-year-old Jason Brian Dalton, is set to appear in court Monday to face charges of murder, Kalamazoo County prosecutor Jeff Getting said.
Uber confirmed that Dalton was a driver for the ride-sharing company, adding he had passed a background check and had no criminal record.
“We have reached out to the police to help with their investigation in any way that we can,” Uber’s chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, said in a statement.
Dalton was apprehended at 12:40am local time Sunday (0540 GMT). Police are certain that he is the gunman who opened fire at three different locations in the city of Kalamazoo, killing six people and seriously wounding two others.
A woman was seriously wounded outside an apartment complex, two people were killed at a car dealership, and four more were shot dead at a restaurant, where a teenage girl was also seriously wounded.
Getting said Dalton surrendered without incident during a traffic stop.
There is “no reason to believe” more than one person was involved in the crime, Getting said.
Dalton picked up and dropped off passengers between shootings, CNN reported, citing an unnamed source with knowledge of the investigation.
Investigators believe that Dalton was still looking for fares after the shooting rampage, the source said.
Local resident Matt Mellen said he was Dalton’s passenger just a few of hours before the rampage began, and was taken on a hair-raising ride.
“We were driving through medians, driving through the lawn, speeding along and when we came to a stop, I jumped out the car and ran away,” Mellen told CBS affiliate WWMT.
“He wouldn’t stop. He just kind of kept looking at me like – ‘Don’t you want to get to your friend’s house’ and I’m like, I want to get there alive.”
Mellen said he jumped out of the car at 4:30 pm, and called the emergency phone number 911. He told his fiancée what had happened and she posted Dalton’s picture on Facebook as a warning to others.
“We’re looking into his connection to Uber and whether or not he was picking up fares in between the shootings,” Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley said, according to CNN.