Latest on Kalamazoo: Parents say teen victim on ventilator
Feb. 23, 2016
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on the shootings in the Kalamazoo, Michigan, area (all times local):
The parents of a teenage girl injured in a weekend shooting rampage in Michigan say their daughter is fighting for her life.
Fourteen-year-old Abigail Kopf's parents held a press conference Monday night along with the medical director of Bronson Children's Hospital.
Dr. Aaron Lane-Davies says Abigail is on a ventilator and is in critical condition.
The couple said they have been by Abigail's side since the weekend.
Authorities initially said Abigail had been killed. She was in the front passenger seat of a vehicle parked outside a Kalamazoo-area restaurant when she was shot once in the head.
Her father, Gene Kopf, said in a prepared statement that Abigail loves theaters and musicals, is athletic and loves animals.
Mourners have packed a church in Kalamazoo to honor the victims of a shooting rampage in the Michigan community that left six dead.
TV station WXYZ reports First Baptist Church was filled to standing room only within minutes of opening its doors for the program Monday night.
Mayor Bobby Hopewell addressed the crowd, urging them to come together as a community and to remember those killed and wounded.
Jason Dalton, a 45-year-old Uber driver, has been charged with six counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder in the attack.
The Kalamazoo County prosecutor has dismissed the idea that a man accused of killing six people and wounding two others was seeking a particular person when authorities say he shot the first victim.
Prosecutor Jeff Getting said Monday that Jason Dalton called a woman by a different name "to get her attention" on Saturday evening before shooting her multiple times. The woman shot outside of her apartment on the eastern edge of the county survived and has undergone surgery.
Police and prosecutors maintain the shootings were random and haven't revealed a motive. People also were shot outside of a restaurant and a car dealership in the Kalamazoo area.
Dalton, who authorities say gave several rides as an Uber driver on the same evening, appeared in court Monday and was denied bond.
Dalton does not have an attorney.
The Kalamazoo County prosecutor says the man charged with killing six people in a weekend rampage gave rides as an Uber driver after the first shootings and probably more after subsequent shootings.
Jeff Getting spoke Monday about the actions of Jason Dalton, who is charged with killing six people and attempting to kill two more. He appeared in court and was denied bond.
The shootings began around 6 p.m. Saturday and ended nearly five hours later. At least one rider has said Dalton was an erratic driver Saturday evening.
People were shot outside an apartment complex, a restaurant and a car dealership in the Kalamazoo area.
Uber says Dalton cleared a background check and was approved as a driver on Jan. 25. He had given slightly more than 100 rides.
The family of the man charged in a series of random shootings in the Kalamazoo area is expressing sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims.
In a statement Monday, the family of Jason Dalton also expressed support and gratitude to law enforcement officials, saying "quick and decisive action prevented any further acts of violence." The family says it intends to cooperate however it can to help determine why and how this occurred.
Forty-five-year-old Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo Township was charged with six counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
The family's attorney, Paul Vlachos, said he represents Dalton's parents, his wife and two children but does not represent Jason Dalton in the criminal proceedings.
The family said it is praying for everyone affected.
Ride-hailing company Uber says it received a complaint about erratic driving by Jason Dalton on Saturday night, but says it never could have predicted the violent acts he is charged with.
Dalton was charged Monday with killing six people in random shootings in Kalamazoo, Michigan, that began around 6 p.m. Saturday and ended nearly five hours later.
Uber passenger Matt Mellen said earlier Monday that he called police to report that Dalton was driving erratically more than an hour before the shootings began.
The company won't say whether it talked to Dalton, and is referring further questions to law enforcement.
Uber says Dalton cleared a background check and was approved to be a driver on Jan. 25. He had given slightly more than 100 rides.
A simple squeeze of her mother's hand was enough to alert doctors that a 14-year-old victim of the mass shootings in Kalamazoo had survived the carnage.
State police Lt. Dale Hinz says initial reports were that the girl had died after being shot once in the head.
Her parents told Hinz on Sunday that after the hand-squeezing a doctor asked the girl a question, wanting a thumbs-up response.
Hinz says "she gave him two thumbs up" and "it's a glimmer of hope in this otherwise tragic situation."
The Associated Press is not releasing the girl's name. Hinz says she remains in extremely critical condition.
Hinz says she was in the front passenger seat of a vehicle with her grandmother and others when they were shot Saturday outside a Kalamazoo-area restaurant.
Police say a man charged in a weekend shooting rampage in Michigan told investigators that "he took people's lives."
Kalamazoo police Det. Cory Ghiringhelli told a judge Monday that Jason Dalton "ultimately admitted" that he was the shooter after his arrest. Six people were killed and two were injured in three incidents Saturday in the Kalamazoo area.
Dalton's admissions to police were used to justify the charges. Besides murder, he's charged with attempted murder in the shootings of two people who survived.
The 45-year-old appeared in court and was returned to jail without bond.
A prosecutor says a man charged with killing six people in western Michigan has admitted to the weekend shootings.
Kalamazoo County prosecutor Jeff Getting says Jason Dalton waived his right against self-incrimination and admitted "his involvement in these incidents."
Dalton's statements to police were used to file charges of murder and attempted murder Monday, two days after six people died in random shootings in the Kalamazoo area.
Dalton appeared in court and heard the charges. He was returned to jail without bond and will get a court-appointed attorney.
The shootings occurred in a restaurant parking lot, outside an apartment building and at a car lot. Two victims are in the hospital.
A man charged with six counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder in a series of random shootings in western Michigan has been denied bail.
Forty-five-year-old Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo Township made his first court appearance Monday and indicated that he understood the charges.
The charges filed Monday by Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting also include weapons violations. The murder charges carry a mandatory life sentence.
Dalton was arrested Sunday in Kalamazoo. Police say the rampage began about 6 p.m. Saturday outside an apartment complex, where a woman was seriously wounded. A little more than four hours later, a father and son were fatally shot while looking at vehicles at a car dealership. Fifteen minutes after that, five people were shot in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant.
A federal agent says many long guns and handguns were seized from the home of the man charged with killing six people in western Michigan.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting state and local police. A spokesman in Detroit, Donald Dawkins, says there's no indication that Jason Dalton was prohibited from possessing guns.
Dalton was charged with murder and attempted murder Monday in a series of shootings over the weekend in the Kalamazoo area. Two people who survived are in the hospital.
The shootings occurred in a restaurant parking lot, outside an apartment building and at a car lot.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller says the actions of the first shooting victim during the weekend rampage in western Michigan protected several children.
Fuller told The Associated Press on Monday the woman was outside with three or four children Saturday at an apartment complex's playground. When a man approached them in a car and she sensed trouble, Fuller said she put herself between the car and the children and told them to run to their nearby home.
Authorities say the woman was shot multiple times and severely injured. Fuller says she has had surgeries and is improving but has a long road to recovery.
A prosecutor filed six counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder against 45-year-old Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo Township in the series of shootings.
A prosecutor has charged a man with six counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder in a series of random shootings in western Michigan.
Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting filed the charges Monday against 45-year-old Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo Township. Dalton is expected to make an initial court appearance later Monday. The prosecutor's office says it doesn't know if Dalton has an attorney.
Dalton was arrested Sunday in Kalamazoo. Police say the rampage began about 6 p.m. Saturday outside an apartment complex, where a woman was seriously wounded. A little more than four hours later, a father and son were fatally shot while looking at vehicles at a car dealership.
Fifteen minutes after that, five people were shot in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant.
Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller says Uber is cooperating with law enforcement officials investigating shootings that left six dead, and he believes the company will "help us fill in some timeline gaps."
An Uber passenger has said he called police to report an erratic driver more than an hour before authorities allege the driver began shooting people at random, killing six and wounding two others before being arrested.
Fuller said investigators are particularly interested in communication between Jason Dalton, the man arrested in the shootings, and Uber, as well as between the company and customers he might have driven.
Fuller said questions about motive and the shooter's frame of mind will be "the hardest to answer." He expects some answers will emerge in court but doubts they will be satisfying.
A school administrator says he remembers the man arrested in Kalamazoo-area shootings that killed six people as an athletic kid who didn't get into trouble.
David Pfaff (POFF), principal at Eastern Hancock High School in Charlottesville, Indiana, said he remembers Jason Dalton from when he was in school. Pfaff, an assistant football coach at the time, said Dalton played running back on the junior varsity team his freshman year before his family moved to Michigan.
He says Dalton was a good football player who wrestled and was on the track team, and "never got into trouble."
Pfaff said he instantly remembered Dalton when he saw his photograph on the news Sunday.
Authorities allege Dalton shot one person outside an apartment complex and shot seven others over the next several hours.
President Barack Obama says he's pledging all needed federal assistance in responding to a weekend shooting rampage in western Michigan.
Obama is speaking to an annual meeting of U.S. governors. He says he spoke Monday with the mayor of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and with the local police chief and sheriff.
Obama says Kalamazoo was "terrorized by gun violence." He says families are shattered.
The president is using the occasion to renew his call for further steps to reduce gun violence. He says governors must be tired of seeing mass shootings in their states.
Obama is citing the shooting spree in San Bernardino, California, late last year that killed 14. Obama says the hard truth is the U.S. probably lost more Americans over the past weekend than in San Bernardino.
A Michigan man says he called the police to report an erratic Uber driver more than an hour before authorities allege the driver began shooting people at random, killing six and wounding two others before he was arrested.
Matt Mellen tells WWMT-TV in Kalamazoo (http://bit.ly/1TAiR1Q ) that Jason Dalton picked him up at around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
Mellen says Dalton began driving very erratically after he got a phone call and hung up. He says Dalton was speeding, sideswiping cars and driving over medians and lawns. Mellen says when they came to a stop, he ran from the car and called police. He says he also tried reporting Dalton to Uber.
Authorities allege that Dalton shot the first victim outside of an apartment complex a little more than an hour later and that he shot seven others over the next several hours.
Dalton is expected to appear in court later Monday.