Normally, when a person resorts to violent behavior that is generally unlike them, it’s assumed that something must have triggered it. There’s usually an explanation, although never sufficient, to explain what prompted such a change.
But what happens when no warning signs were missed and there is no logical explanation? This was in the case in the following story where no one could have predicted or prevented such a terrible sequence of events. It all started in a city of Kalamazoo Michigan…
The Daltons lived on the northwest corner of a rural junction in the Kalamazoo suburbs in Michigan. When they first moved to the neighborhood 17 years ago, at first, they kept to themselves. But a couple of years later, after they had a baby boy, they opened up more.
Dalton was an insurance loss adjuster, and his wife of 20 years took care of their family consisting of their 15-year-old son, their 10-year-old daughter and their German Shepherd named Mia. The Daltons were doing fine, but as the man of the house, Dalton wanted to make some extra money. He started doing some driving for Uber in his time off and the plan was to take his family to Disney World with the extra money…
It Started As A Normal Saturday
By the morning of Saturday, February 20, 2016, Dalton had been working with Uber for two weeks, and his morning looked like any other. Dalton, 45, took Mia for a walk and then ran errands with his friend Brian. Afterward, he told Brian he might take a nap and go to work. When Dalron went out that afternoon to pick up Uber fares in his silver Chevy Equinox, he also brought the family dog with him.
First Passenger Of The Day
His first fare of the day refused to get in the car because of Mia, but the next man he picked up, Matt Mellen, was ok with it. So Mellen got in the front passenger seat and he and Dalton chatted a bit. After they drove for a short time, Dalton floored the gas pedal and started driving like crazy. Mellen shouted at Dalton, “‘Dude, you hit that car!” and Dalton replied, “I didn’t hit anything.” By then Mellen was scared for his life and begged to get out of the car but Dalton wouldn’t stop…
Ignoring The First Warning Sign
He blasted through red lights, swerved on the wrong side of the road, and Mia got down in the back of the car and hid. Mellen pretended he was going closer than the app said just so he could slow down Dalton and get out. Finally, Dalton slammed on the brakes and Mellen leaped out of the car. The woman who saw him fall out of the car called 911 and described that an Uber driver threw a passenger out of a silver Chevy SUV. When Mellen called police, they basically blew him off and thought nothing of it.
On A Mission To Kill
Then, back home, Mellen called his fiance and at 5:33 pm she posted a Facebook warning to her friends about an Uber driver named Jason, using his Uber photo. Meanwhile, after Mellen escaped from his car, Dalton sped home and went down into his basement and prepared his guns. By the time he left the house, he was carrying a loaded Glock 9-mm semi-automatic pistol and was wearing a bulletproof vest under his jacket. Dalton called his wife and told her that he banged up his car and needed to borrow the family Hummer. But before doing that, he went to pick up another fare…
A Pick-Up Gone Wrong
DeAllen Blackburn, 18, was looking for the Uber his girlfriend called for him and his Uber driver was none other than Dalton. Except, Dalton couldn’t find DeAllen because his girlfriend, Maci, accidentally entered the wrong pickup address. So after a while, Dalton called Maci thinking she was the passenger and he said he was lost asking if she could help him out. Maci recalled giving him directions but then he went silent for about 10 minutes. She repeatedly texted him, “‘Did you find it?’ and ‘Are you still lost?’” But Dalton’s car was seen on security camera failing to find DeAllen.
Shooting A Young Women
As Dalton looped around one more time, he spotted a 25-year-old woman who was leading 5 young children, including her daughter, across the street. Dalton rolled down the window asking if her name was “Maisie or Misty,” and when she said no, Dalton drove off. But then he turned the car around again heading back. Still in the car, he took out his gun and pointed it at Tiana Carruthers, shooting her many times…
His Greatest Attempts Failed To Kill Her
The first bullet hit her in her left arm, the second hit her right leg and one of the last two bullets broke her other leg, with the final lodging her liver. Dalton sped off, knowing he killed someone, yet, miraculously Tina survived. She remembered trying to move but couldn’t, yet she pretended like she was dead already so that Dalton would stop. Some of Dalton’s shots missed her and seven bullets went into the house behind her, four of which went through a wall. When the neighbors found her, Tina told them the man who did this was heavyset with blue eyes and had a dog in the back of his car.
Giving His Family Strict Instructions
Dalton had just shot a stranger four times and next, he went to his parent’s house where he hid the damaged Chevy Equinox and took his parents’ black Chevy HHR when the family Hummer he had planned to take earlier wouldn’t start. While at his parent’s house, Dalton’s wife, Carole noticed her husband was acting strangely and he told her that she and the children had to stay inside the house and lock the doors. Then, at about 7 pm, Dalton started picking up Uber fares like nothing happened. He picked up two more fares and safely dropped them off at their destinations acting like the worst was behind him. But, that wasn’t the case…
Shooting Another Two Men
Tyler Smith, 17, was shopping for a car with his dad and girlfriend Alexis and while at the dealership they noticed a Ford pickup truck. Alexis, less interested, stayed in the backseat of their Range Rover. Then, as the showroom’s surveillance cameras displayed, Dalton entered, approaching the father and son and shooting them until they were dead. He somehow did not notice Alexis in the back of the truck and watching her boyfriend and his father being killed in front of her eyes, she ducked down scared for her life. Dalton drove away as if whatever was guiding him told him there was somewhere else he needed to be.
Killing More Innocent People
At around 10 pm, four women over 60 met for dinner at the Cracker Barrel and they split up into two cars in the parking lot before heading home. By the time Dalton came upon them on foot, he went up to a woman in a van asking her if “she could spare a dollar to make America great again,” and after she declined, he shot her in the head. Then as he was about to run away, he heard four women in another car scream, so he shot them too. By this point, Kalamazoo’s chief prosecutor was in hot pursuit of Dalton…
Dalton continued with his Uber fares picking up more people and dropping them off at their destinations. He didn’t shoot them, he just let out, which later made absolutely no sense to prosecutors. Soon, Sergeant Harrison, who was frantically searching for Dalton, flipped on his lights and two police cars pulled behind Dalton, ordering him to put his hands out of the window. Dalton complied and at around 12:40 pm, his gun was drawn and he was under arrest. After knowing the horror he had just unleashed on innocent people, the officers were shocked Dalton surrendered instead of fighting back or trying to shoot.
Meaningful Details About Dalton’s Past Behavior
In the days following the mass murders, neighbors spoke out about Dalton’s prior behavior. Some were quoted as saying that Dalton sometimes fired guns out of the back of his house. An old insurance co-worker told police that he worked in the same office as Dalton for 15 years and the Dalton would get upset when he was challenged by clients. A man name Mark Cottingham who owned a repair business detailed an interaction he had with Dalton explaining he seemed to have unreasonable anger one minute and the next he was all sweetness. But, the biggest news came from Dalton’s friend Brian, whom he’d been running errands with that Saturday…
Preparing For The Murders
Brian told cops they visited three gun stores that morning. At one store, Dalton bought a black tactical jacket with a chest pocket designed for hiding a handgun. There was no clearer sign of premeditation than that, except, it wasn’t at all unusual for Dalton to spend Saturdays at a gun store because guns were one of Dalton’s hobbies.
No One Could Have Predicted It
The owner of the gun store said that Dalton’s demeanor that afternoon was a poor fit for someone gearing up for a homicidal rampage. “He was smiling and joking around and he did a one-armed hug to my manager and told him to have a good day.” While Dalton owned 16 guns, it’s not particularly unusual in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Three weeks after the shootings, police released accounts of their two formal interviews with Dalton during his first 24 hours in custody…
“The Uber App Made Me Do It”
It turns out Dalton’s explanation wouldn’t make much sense to anyone. He told police that he wasn’t even himself like it was an “altered reality.” He said that the Uber app made him get his gun and made him put on the bulletproof vest. Even worse, he added that “the devil possessed him through Uber.” Of course, everyone assumed Dalton was crazy, a liar, or both.
Chilling Information Exposed
The public assumed his explanation was a plot they’d seen over and over on TV when the murderer tries to avoid the harshest punishment by laying the basis for an insanity defense. But over time, a picture of why Dalton believes he did what he did began to build. Someone told police that Dalton had once talked of “choking and killing” the family cat, then leaving it on his bed. When asked about this, his wife confirmed that years ago, she found their cat, Leo, dead, lying where it usually slept on their bed. She assumed it died of natural causes…
No Actual Explanation
One theme in Dalton’s police interviews was the problems he’d had with his Uber app, saying that it led him to do what he did. Then, in between sessions with different officers, Dalton had been left alone and was heard speaking out loud to himself. The words police believe they heard him say were, “Sorry to you, my love.” Despite his eerily calm demeanor and bizarre explanation of what led him to kill, a psychologist found Dalton competent to stand trial.
The Sad Reality
At trial, Dalton was convicted of six counts of murder without anyone knowing why he did what he did. Jeff Getting, the Kalamazoo prosecutor says that they’ll continue to look for an explanation, premeditation, or deliberation, but he’s not sure they’ll ever get a good enough one. Five days after the shooting, Carole Dalton filed for divorce from her husband of 20 years. Her lawyer said it was in response to everything that had happened and to protect herself and her children. Tiana Carruthers says she’s trying to forgive and live everyday it’s her last and the families of Dalton’s other victims were forced to grieve for the loss of their loved ones.