Six killed in random Michigan shootings

General view of the Cracker Barrel where a gunman went on a shooting rampage, on Feb 21, 2016 in Michigan.
General view of the Cracker Barrel where a gunman went on a shooting rampage, on Feb 21, 2016 in Michigan. PHOTO: EPA

KALAMAZOO (Michigan) • A gunman killed six people and wounded two in the US city of Kalamazoo in Michigan, in random parking lot shootings, the police said yesterday.

The suspect, Jason Dalton, 45, opened fire on Saturday evening outside an apartment complex, a Kia car dealership and a Cracker Barrel restaurant over a period of little more than four hours, the Kalamazoo police said on their Facebook page yesterday.

A 14-year-old girl initially reported to have been fatally shot at the restaurant was in fact wounded and is in serious condition, a prosecutor said.

Dalton is in custody and police said he was "even tempered" when he was arrested in downtown Kalamazoo.

"What it looks like is, we have somebody driving around, finding people and shooting them dead in their tracks," Kalamazoo county undersheriff Paul Matyas told local CNN affiliate 24 Hours News 8.

"This is your worst nightmare, when you have somebody just driving around, randomly killing people," he added.

A semi-automatic pistol was found inside Dalton's vehicle. The police said he had no known criminal record.

The carnage began at about 6pm on Saturday when a woman was wounded outside a Kalamazoo county apartment building. At about 10pm, the police were called to the car dealership where two people were killed and a third was wounded.

About 15 minutes later, four people were killed at the Cracker Barrel parking lot where Dalton opened fire on people in their cars, the police said.

The police said surveillance videos from businesses led to a description of Dalton's vehicle.

Gun violence kills about 30,000 Americans every year and mass shootings have been on the rise in the United States.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2016, with the headline 'Six killed in random Michigan shootings'. Print Edition | Subscribe