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Uber driver allegedly kills six people during shooting spree

The riding-hailing service says it will cooperate with a Michigan police investigation.


An Uber driver is allegedly behind a shooting spree in Michigan.


An Uber driver in Kalamazoo, Michigan, has been arrested after a series of deadly shootings Saturday night, according to authorities.

Jason Brian Dalton, who passed a background check to drive for Uber, allegedly began a shooting rampage just before 6:00 pm local time Saturday, according to CBS News.

Michigan state police say he shot one woman multiple times in a townhouse parking lot, but she survived. Several hours later, Dalton allegedly shot and killed a father and son at a car dealership. Less than 20 minutes later, he allegedly shot five people in a Cracker Barrel parking lot, killing four women and critically injuring a 14-year-old girl. Over the course of the evening, CBS News reported, Dalton may have picked up passengers.

At 12:30 a.m. Sunday, Dalton was pulled over and arrested after leaving the parking lot of a bar in Kalamazoo. Police said they found a gun in his car , CBS News reported, adding that Dalton is expected to be arraigned in court Monday on murder charges.

In reaction to the shootings, Uber issued this statement on its website:

We are horrified and heartbroken at the senseless violence in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the victims of this devastating crime and those recovering from injuries. We have reached out to the police to help with their investigation in any way that we can.

Uber is one of the most high-profile companies in what's known as the gig economy, in which workers function as independent contractors rather than employees. As contract workers, the drivers don't get health insurance, paid sick days or overtime. The lower costs have helped it upend the traditional taxi business in cities around the world.

The Michigan incident will likely raise the question of how thorough Uber's background checks are. To vet its drivers, Uber runs their names through seven years of county and federal courthouse records, a multi-state criminal database, national sex offender registry, Social Security trace and motor vehicle records. Uber rejects anyone with a history of violent crimes, sexual offenses, gun-related violations or resisting arrest.

Some officials have argued the checks are inadequate because they don't require fingerprint identification.

Last April, authorities in Houston, Texas, charged that an Uber driver, who underwent a background check, allegedly took a drunk female passenger to his home and raped her. Last August, prosecutors in California filed charges that Uber's background checks failed to weed out 25 drivers with criminal records, including convictions for murder, assault, sex offenses and child abuse.

Earlier this month, Uber paid $28.5 million to settle two class-action lawsuits that alleged the company charged passengers a "Safe Rides Fee" of as much as $2.30 per trip to support its "industry leading background check process," according to Reuters.