KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A man charged with killing six people during a night of random shootings in Michigan was dragged out of court Friday after bizarre outbursts during testimony by a woman who survived the rampage.
A judge called a recess and ordered Jason Dalton to jail where he can participate by video. Tiana Carruthers sobbed loudly on the witness stand while stunned relatives of other victims watched him be hauled away by deputies.
Judge Christopher Haenicke must decide whether there’s probable cause to send Dalton to trial on charges of murder and attempted murder in southwestern Michigan’s Kalamazoo County. It’s a low threshold; prosecutors don’t have to present all their evidence.
Dalton made strange references Friday to “old people with these old black bags.” The judge cut him off after he said, “It’s time to get to temple.”
Police said Dalton, 45, was driving for Uber when he shot eight people on Feb. 20 at three locations in the Kalamazoo area; six of them died. Police have quoted Dalton as saying a “devil figure” on Uber’s app was controlling him. He’s been found competent to understand the charges and assist his lawyer.
Before the hearing was interrupted, Carruthers, 25, described how she was with children outside an apartment building when Dalton drove up.
“He cut us off,” she testified. “I actually grabbed the children because he almost hit us.”
Carruthers was the first person shot that day, and police credit her with shielding the children from possible injury.