KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — 24 Hour News 8 has obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request the entire Jason Dalton interrogation report, detailing exactly what Dalton said happened the day of the Kalamazoo shooting rampage.
In the interrogation with Michigan State Police Sgt. Kyle Gorham, the Uber driver-turned alleged murderer said he was remorseful and saddened by what he done on Feb. 20.
Jason Dalton said the Uber app would not shut off kept him awake for more than 24 hours and would “flash at him really hard.” He said “something had come into his car” and made itself know by making a loud tone.” He said it was like his vehicle was just talking to him and “he felt like he was on fire.”
The shooting rampage started at the Meadow Townhomes in Richland Township, northeast of Kalamazoo. Dalton told police before the shooting he got a feeling that overcame his body, and he went inside his house to the basement where he prepared his guns, placing several into a black bag, police documents show.
Dalton then said he got into his Chevy Equinox with his dog and went to pick up an Uber fare by the name of McKinny at an apartment complex. When he got to the apartment complex, he saw a woman and asked if she was McKinny, according to the documents.
The woman, Tiana Carruthers, said she was not and asked why Dalton was asking. He told her he was an Uber driver and then drove off.
Dalton told police he then drove back around to the woman and asked her again if she McKinny, the documents show. He said then pointed a gun at Carruthers and began pulling the trigger, emptying the entire magazine of his Glock 9mm. His gun jammed. He cleared the jam and continued firing. He said he knew he had killed Carruthers, telling police, “How could you survive that many gunshots?”
After shooting Carruthers, Dalton said he felt a high pitched whining sound going through his body accompanied by an unspecified smell as he drove to his parents’ home to pick up more ammo. At the home Dalton saw his wife, Carole, and gave her a Taurus 9mm handgun. His wife told him his eyes were different and Dalton said his wife was “freaking out.”
After the shooting in Richland Township, Dalton said he walked up to a man and a boy — 17-year-old Tyler Smith and his dad, Rich Smith — who were looking at cars at the Seelye Kia dealership off Stadium Drive in Kalamazoo. The man said hello, and that is when Dalton said he shot the man and then the boy. Dalton said he emptied the magazine while both of them were lying on the ground.
Dalton told police he then picked up another Uber fare and dropped them off at a bar. Then, he went to the Cracker Barrel in Texas Township, southwest of Kalamazoo, where he said he went up to a woman in a white van, asking her if she could “spare a dollar to make America great again,” according to the interrogation records.
The woman told Dalton she did not have a dollar, and that is when he said he shot her. Dalton said he would have left, but he heard people scream. He went back and shot everyone in the car, starting with the driver and passenger behind her then moving to the other side of the car where he fired multiple times. He told police he remembered shooting “a young girl” in the head.
The young girl is 14-year-old Abigail Kopf, who survived and is currently recovering at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids.
Dorothy Brown, 74, Barbara Hawthorn, 68, Mary Jo Nye, 60, and 62-year-old Mary Lou Nye would die from the gunshot wounds.
He left the Cracker Barrel and drove to his home to get more ammo. A short time later, he would pick up a group of men. Jason said the phone would ding at him with one ding indicating yes and two meaning no. When one of the men asked “are you gonna shoot me?” his phone beeped twice, which Dalton believed indicated “no,” so these men survived their encounter with the killer.
Dalton told police he was wearing his son’s bulletproof vest on the day of the shootings. He says his son was enrolled in the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department’s Explorer Program.
At the completion of the interview, Dalton told Sgt. Gorman he felt that people were going to look at him like he is a monster. He said he was “saddened and remorseful” and “no words I could ever say can bring closure to the families of the victims.”
Dalton, 45, is accused of fatally shooting a total of six people in the Feb. 20 spree that also injured two others.
He’s facing 16 criminal charges in connection to the shooting rampage, including six counts of murder for the deaths of the Smiths, as well as Mary Jo Nye, Mary Lou Nye, Barbara Hawthorne and Judy Brown. He’s also facing two counts of attempted murder for shooting and wounding Carruthers and 14-year-old Abigail Kopf.