The Uber driver accused of killing six people and injuring two others in a Saturday evening rampage in Kalamazoo, Michigan, picked up and dropped off passengers between shootings, NBC affiliate WOOD reported.
The suspected gunman, identified by police as 45-year-old Jason Dalton, was arrested following a massive manhunt in Kalamazoo. He was expected to be arraigned Monday on murder charges.
An Indianapolis-area man, who went to the southern Michigan city with his family Saturday night for a show, told WOOD that he ordered an Uber ride after someone warned him to be careful because there was a gunman shooting people randomly around town.
The man, identified only as Derek, told the station that he was at Bell's Eccentric Cafe on Porter St. with his wife, mother- and father-in-law, and hailed a car from the ride-sharing app to return to their hotel, deciding it was safer than walking.
Derek's driver, Jason, arrived in a dark-colored Chevy HHR. According to Derek's digital receipt, shared with WOOD, Dalton arrived at Bell's at 12:12 a.m.
"My father-in-law mentioned from the back seat, you know, the situation with the shooter,” Derek told WOOD in a phone interview. “I kind of jokingly said to the driver, ‘You’re not the shooter, are you?’
Derek said the driver shook his head and gave him a "sort of 'no' response."
“I said, ‘Are you sure?’ And he said, ‘No, I’m not, I’m just tired,'” Derek continued. “And we proceeded to have a pretty normal conversation after that.”
Derek told WOOD that Dalton appeared to be calm and he did not smell gunpowder or notice any weapons in the car. The family of four arrived at the Radisson Hotel where they were staying, seven minutes from the cafe, at 12:19 a.m. The fare cost $5.23, the invoice shows.
Dalton was arrested less than 20 minutes later near Porter St., according to WOOD. Derek awoke on Sunday to discover that his Uber driver was in fact the suspected gunman.
“It’s a little jarring. I don’t think that it’s really set in yet,” Derek told WOOD.
The ride-sharing company confirmed that Dalton, 45, was an Uber driver and said he had passed a background check.