The main suspect in a series of fatal shootings in Michigan on Saturday was an Uber driver who may have been opening fire randomly as he picked up fares, police tell local news station WoodTV.
Detectives believe that 45-year-old Jason Dalton shot eight people — six of them fatally — in various locations around Kalamazoo.
Uber confirmed to Business Insider that Dalton was a driver who had passed his background check. The service’s checks go back seven years and run a potential driver’s name and address in a series of national, state, and local databases, including the National Sex Offender Registry and the National Criminal Search.
Local law enforcement confirm with WoodTV that Dalton has no known criminal history.
A Facebook post by a Kalamazoo resident written on Saturday and screenshotted by WoodTV says that her fiancé’s Uber driver, named Jason, was driving very erratically: sideswiping another car, swerving in and out of oncoming traffic, speeding, and refusing to pull over.
“The Uber driver named JASON drives a silver Chevy Equinox is NOT a safe ride,” Mackenzie Waite wrote on Facebook.
Uber is helping police with the investigation.
“We are horrified and heartbroken at the senseless violence in Kalamazoo, Michigan,” Uber’s chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, said in a statement. “Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this devastating crime and those recovering from injuries. We are reaching out to the police to help with their investigation in any way that we can.”
Earlier this year, Uber agreed to pay $28.5 million to end a class-action case about its safety practice ads and said it would stop using descriptions like “industry-leading” to describe its background checks. Uber’s background checks don’t involve fingerprinting, which San Francisco and Los Angeles highlighted when filing a joint civil suit stating that the service was misleading consumers about its checks.
This tweet shows what appears to be the suspect’s Uber profile (note: the ride completed in the screenshot didn’t take place on the day of the shooting):
Dalton is currently in police custody and no motive has yet been determined for this crime.
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