Latest: Michigan community holds vigil after 6 fatally shot

AP News
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Posted: Feb 21, 2016 10:27 PM
Latest: Michigan community holds vigil after 6 fatally shot

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on the shootings in the Kalamazoo, Michigan, area (all times local):

10 p.m.

Mourners streamed into a Kalamazoo church for a special prayer service after a shooting rampage that rocked the western Michigan community.

The service Sunday night at Centerpoint Church was intended to honor the victims and help residents cope. It comes a night after authorities say a 45-year-old area man fatally shot six people and wounded two others in three incidents around Kalamazoo.

The lieutenant governor, area pastors and others spoke during the service, which also included several musical numbers.

Pastor Brian Stone told those in attendance it's natural to ask why such a tragedy would happen and said there is "no easy answer."

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6:45 p.m.

Mattawan Consolidated Schools Superintendent Robin Buchler says her close-knit western Michigan community is mourning the loss of high school senior Tyler Smith.

The 17-year-old was killed Saturday night along with his father, Richard, outside of a Kalamazoo car dealership. They were among six people shot and killed in three incidents around Kalamazoo.

Buchler says Tyler Smith spent half of each school day at a technical center focusing on marketing. She adds that her son, also a senior, describes his classmate as "well-liked" with a constant "smile on his face."

Buchler says the challenge for educators and administrators will be helping students "still believe in the world," and assuring them "they can still be safe in this town."

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5:30 p.m.

Western Michigan University's president says the Kalamazoo school failed to provide adequate information and updates after a series of shootings miles from the campus.

At least six people were killed in the shootings Saturday and two others were wounded.

John Dunn says Sunday in a letter to the campus that Western did not issue an alert about the shootings and that the system is set up to warn of threats to the campus and people on it.

Dunn says the school needs to adjust its "procedures to respond to extraordinary circumstances."

Western also is looking at the possibility of developing a public safety advisory to cover broader public safety issues. A campuswide forum is scheduled for Monday night.

Forty-five-year-old Jason Dalton was arrested early Sunday in connection with the shootings.

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4:10 p.m.

A neighbor of Kalamazoo shooting suspect Jason Dalton says he knew the man had a pistol because the two of them "talked about it."

James Block tells The Associated Press that police carried boxes from the house next door Sunday morning.

The 45-year-old Dalton of Kalamazoo Township was arrested early Sunday in connection with the fatal shootings Saturday of at least six people and wounding of two others at three separate locations.

Block said he and Dalton would talk at the fence separating their properties, and that Dalton was an insurance adjuster who did auto body damage estimates.

Block said Dalton was home "between the shootings" Saturday because his niece saw Dalton pull out of his driveway about 7 p.m. The first shooting occurred about an hour earlier.

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3:40 p.m.

A neighbor describes one of the six people killed in the shooting rampage in Kalamazoo as friendly and giving.

Patrick Mallon Jr. says he didn't know 74-year-old Dorothy Brown well but what he did know he liked. After she moved in two doors down in Battle Creek about 10 years ago, the woman everyone knew as Judy would come over with herbs she grew.

Mallon says she would always wave and say hello when she drove off to the mall, where she walked. Mallon says whenever he and his wife went on vacation, Brown would keep an eye on the house and feed their cat.

Mallon says Brown had two grown sons, with one living in California and the other in Florida.

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3:10 p.m.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says a 14-year-old girl wounded in a shooting rampage in the Kalamazoo area is "working hard to stay alive."

The governor visited hospitals Sunday to meet with her family and the family of another victim.

He says the girl has "all our thoughts and prayers," and the shooting is "senseless violence at its worst."

The girl was shot at a Cracker Barrel parking lot along with four women who were killed. A father and son were fatally shot at a car dealership.

Snyder says the girl was part of a group returning home after seeing a play and "someone comes up and shoots them."

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2:45 p.m.

Kalamazoo police say they contacted the wife of the man suspected of going on a shooting rampage that left six people dead to make sure she was safe.

Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley says investigators contacted the wife of 45-year-old Jason Dalton Saturday evening "to make sure she wasn't a victim." Hadley adds that she has cooperated with police in their investigation.

Police say the rampage began about 6 p.m. Saturday outside an apartment complex on the eastern edge of Kalamazoo County, where a woman was shot multiple times and seriously wounded. A little more than four hours later and 15 miles away, a father and son were fatally shot while looking at vehicles at a car dealership.

Fifteen minutes after that, five people — including a 14-year-old girl, who was wounded— were gunned down in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant.

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2:20 p.m.

A man who knows the suspect in the random fatal shootings of at least six people in Michigan says he never showed any signs of violence.

Gary Pardo Jr. tells The Associated Press that Jason Dalton is "a family man that for all intents and purposes seemed to stick with his family." Pardo says Dalton is married and has two children.

Pardo's parents live across the street from Dalton in Kalamazoo Township.

The 45-year-old Dalton was arrested early Sunday. A woman was seriously wounded Saturday evening outside an apartment complex. A father and son were slain four hours later at a car dealership.

Four people were killed and a 14-year-old girl wounded 15 minutes later in a restaurant parking lot.

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2 p.m.

Kalamazoo shooting victim Mary Jo Nye is being remembered as a teacher who could help even the most reluctant students become better writers.

The 60-year-old retired teacher who lived in Battle Creek, Michigan, was identified by authorities as a victim in the shooting rampage.

Tara Egnatuk, assistant director of the Calhoun Community High School, said she worked for six years with Nye at the alternative school that serves many at-risk students.

Egnatuk says that Nye helped write the charter to create the school. Egnatuk spent hours in Nye's classroom and was mentored by her during the time they worked together.

She says Nye was able to get students to become better writers by taking "baby steps" to get them to open up. She adds that Nye "played a really integral part in a lot of kids' lives."

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1:50 p.m.

Uber says the man suspected of going on a shooting rampage that left six people dead was one of its drivers.

But spokeswoman Nairi Hourdajian would not say whether 45-year-old Jason Dalton was driving for the ride-sharing service on Saturday when the shootings occurred outside an apartment complex, a car dealership and a restaurant.

Uber's Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan says the company is "horrified and heartbroken at the senseless violence" and that Uber has contacted police to offer assistance in the investigation.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting says authorities are investigating a Facebook post that the suspect was an Uber driver who was driving erratically around the time of the shootings. He would not elaborate because of the ongoing investigation.

Uber also released its firearms policy that prohibits both drivers and passengers from carrying firearms in an Uber vehicle.

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1:30 p.m.

The next-door neighbor of a woman shot first in a rampage that left six people dead says she and her family heard the shooting, ran outside and her neighbor "was on the ground."

Tammy George tells The Associated Press that four bullets went into a closet of her apartment, where her son was playing video games with two friends a few feet away. George says her neighbor was lucky to be alive considering the number of shell casings authorities found.

The woman has not been identified. Police say she was shot multiple times and was seriously wounded in the rampage that began about 6 p.m. Saturday outside the apartment complex on the eastern edge of Kalamazoo County.

George says she made sure the woman's children were OK and told them that their mother was talking and asking about them.

Forty-five-year-old Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo County was arrested early Sunday in Kalamazoo in connections with the shootings.

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12:40 p.m.

Authorities have released the names of four people killed inside two vehicles parked near a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Kalamazoo during a shooting rampage that left six people dead.

Michigan State Police say the victims were 62-year-old Mary Lou Nye of Baroda and 60-year-old Mary Jo Nye, 68-year-old Barbara Hawthorne and 74-year-old Dorothy Brown, all of Battle Creek. A 14-year-old girl also shot in the restaurant lot remains in critical condition.

State police say four of the victims were inside a Chevrolet Cruze and the fifth victim — Mary Lou Nye — was alone in an Oldsmobile minivan nearby.

The shooting happened shortly before 10:30 Saturday night and was the last of three separate shootings. The suspect in the shootings, 45-year-old Jason Dalton, has been taken into custody.

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12:15 p.m.

A Michigan prosecutor says authorities are investigating a Facebook post that the suspect in a series of random shootings that left at least six people dead was an Uber driver who was driving erratically around the time of the shootings.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting says he is aware of the post regarding 45-year-old Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo County. Getting added that it is part of the investigation, but he was not prepared to discuss it.

Getting says Dalton likely will face multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder in connection with the shootings Saturday. Dalton is expected to appear Monday before a judge in a Kalamazoo County courtroom.

He was arrested early Sunday in Kalamazoo.

Uber did not immediately comment but a spokesman says they are preparing a statement.

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10:50 a.m.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says "the victims and their families — and the entire Kalamazoo area — should be in everyone's thoughts" after a shooting rampage that killed at least six people.

Prosecutor Jeff Getting says 45-year-old Jason Dalton likely will face multiple first-degree murder and attempted murder counts. Dalton was arrested early Sunday.

The shootings started Saturday evening outside an apartment complex where a woman was seriously wounded. A father and son were slain four hours later at a car dealership.

Four people were killed and a 14-year-old girl wounded 15 minutes later in a restaurant parking lot.

Snyder in his statement Sunday also lauded police, saying "their actions resulted in the suspect being caught before he was able to harm anyone else through these senseless and apparently random acts of violence."

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8:55 a.m.

Authorities expect the suspect believed to be responsible for a series of random shootings in western Michigan that left at least six people dead will be arraigned Monday afternoon.

Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting says 45-year-old Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo County likely will face multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder when he appears before a judge in a Kalamazoo County courtroom.

Dalton was arrested early Sunday in Kalamazoo. Police say he has no known criminal history.

Police say the rampage began about 6 p.m. Saturday outside an apartment complex on the eastern edge of Kalamazoo County, where a woman was shot multiple times and seriously wounded. A little more than four hours later and 15 miles away, a father and son were fatally shot while looking at vehicles at a car dealership.

Fifteen minutes after that, five people — including a 14-year-old girl — were gunned down in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant.

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7:50 a.m.

Police have revised the death count in a series of random shootings in western Michigan that have left at least six people dead.

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley says a 14-year-old girl who originally had been pronounced dead by medical officials is still alive. Hadley says Sunday morning the teen remained in serious condition.

Forty-five-year-old Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo County was arrested early Sunday in Kalamazoo in connections with the shootings. Hadley says Dalton has no known criminal history.

Police say the rampage began about 6 p.m. Saturday outside an apartment complex on the eastern edge of the Kalamazoo County, where a woman was shot multiple times and seriously wounded. A little more than four hours later and 15 miles away, a father and son were fatally shot while looking at vehicles at a car dealership.

Fifteen minutes after that, five people — including the 14-year-old girl — were gunned down in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant.

Dalton remained jailed Sunday.

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6:50 a.m.

Police have identified the suspect they believe is responsible for a series of random shootings in western Michigan that have left at least six people dead.

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley tells The Associated Press that the suspect arrested early Sunday in Kalamazoo is 45-year-old Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo County.

Hadley says Dalton has no known criminal history.

Police say the rampage began about 6 p.m. Saturday outside an apartment complex on the eastern edge of the Kalamazoo County, where a woman was shot multiple times and seriously wounded. A little more than four hours later and 15 miles away, a father and son were fatally shot while looking at vehicles at a car dealership.

Fifteen minutes after that, five people — including a 14-year-old girl — were gunned down in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant.

Dalton remained jailed Sunday.

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6:30 a.m.

At least six people are dead after a series of western Michigan shootings in which authorities say they believe a gunman chose victims at random.

Authorities say a 45-year-old man was arrested early Sunday in Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas says the rampage began about 6 p.m. Saturday outside an apartment complex on the eastern edge of the Kalamazoo County, where a woman was shot multiple times and seriously wounded.

A little more than four hours later and 15 miles away, a father and son were fatally shot while looking at vehicles at a car dealership.

Matyas says 15 minutes after that, five people — including a 14-year-old girl — were gunned down in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant.

Matyas described the killings as "random murders."