Kalamazoo shooting suspect charged

Posted at 6:05 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 08:46:34-05

The Kalamazoo County prosecutor says Jason Dalton, the man police believe is responsible for the deaths of six people in Kalamazoo after a shooting rampage Saturday night, admitted to his involvement in the shootings Monday.

"Just senseless violence," said Governor Rick Snyder Monday, after a shooting rampage across Kalamazoo County that killed six, and left two in critical condition Saturday night.

"My thoughts and prayers are with them, and I hope the entire support of the state is with them," Gov. Snyder said.

It all started around 6 p.m. Saturday, when a woman was shot outside her town home.

The sheriff's office says that woman was back in surgery Monday and remains in serious condition.

About four hours later, a father and son were shot while looking at cars at a Kia dealership.

Police have identified them as Rich and Tyler Smith, a senior at Mattawan High School.

Tyler's girlfriend was with them that night, and had stayed in the car as the two looked at vehicles.

Police say when the shootings started, the girlfriend hid in the backseat, and saw the shooter walk right past her.

Fifteen minutes later, five people, including a 14-year-old girl, were gunned down outside the Texas Township Cracker Barrel.

Police say, the teen and the group of women had seen a play Saturday night, and were heading home when they were shot while sitting in their vehicles.

The women, identified as Mary Jo Nye of Battle Creek, her sister-in-law Mary Lou Nye of Baroda, Barbara Hawthorne and Dorothy Brown, both of Battle Creek, died of their injuries.

The 14-year-old girl was first thought to be dead too, but as the hospital was preparing to remove her organs to be donated, she squeezed her mother's hand.

The teen, who has yet to be identified, remains in critical condition Monday.

"Clearly, we're gonna need to do more to keep Americans safe," said President Obama Monday, calling for action.

And Congressman Mike Bishop, R-Rochester Hills, questioned Dalton's mental health.

"I want to get to the source of the problem and figure out how we can make a difference," Rep. Bishop said, "and get to these people before they erupt."

Which has anti-gun groups like Moms Demand Action questioning Michigan's current gun laws.

"One thing that would be very important is considering gun legislation that reduces the likelihood that persons that will misuse guns in criminal activity have access to those guns," said Emily Durbin of the group. "And that our children, our family members have safe place to be where guns are not present."

As families mourn the loss of six people in the Kalamazoo community.