After recently starting as an Uber driver-partner, on February 20th Jason Dalton allegedly shot and killed six strangers, perhaps picking up other passengers in between and after the murders, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A motive is unclear and Dalton, a former insurance adjuster, had no previous criminal record. Now, according to documents from the police obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request from WZZM 13, an ABC affiliate, we learn that Dalton blames the Uber app for taking possession of him. "When I logged onto site," Dalton told Police, "it started making me feel like a puppet."
Upon opening the app, Dalton described seeing a "horned cow head or something like that and then it would give you an assignment and it would literally take over your whole body." According to the report, "[Dalton] said it starts out that you have to follow the navigation, but it gets to the point where you don’t have to drive at all, the car just goes. He was seeing himself from outside of his body."
Dalton described a desire to enter into a "shootout with police," but "when the log in went from the black symbol back to the red, that's when Dalton stopped his thought."
Also according to the documents, during the alleged spree Dalton traded vehicles with his wife after crashing his own car, a Chevrolet Equinox, in a hit-and-run accident."She couldn't go back to work anymore and the kids could not go back to school," Dalton says he told her when she questioned him as he took her car. "She would see what he was talking about on the news."
Hours before the shootings, a previous passenger says he contacted Uber to let the company know that Dalton was driving erratically. "I’m upset because I tried contacting Uber after I had talked to the police saying that we needed to get this guy off the road,” the passenger told local news.
Dalton faces six charges of murder, two counts of assault with intent to murder, as well as eight counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.