Jason Dalton, a A Kalamazoo Uber driver accused of killing six people and wounding two others last month, told police that the ride-sharing app took over his “mind and body” and made him carry out the rampage, according to CNN.
In a series of interviews with police in the hours after the Feb. 20 shootings, Jason Dalton, 45, blamed the killings on the Uber app, saying his iPhone directed him where to go and when to shoot people. Dalton said he would have gotten in a shootout with police when he was arrested, but the app directed him not to.
Dalton is accused of shooting people at three locations across the Kalamazoo area the evening of Feb. 20, in between picking up passengers as an Uber driver. A Kalamazoo County sheriff’s deputy arrested Dalton shortly after midnight on Feb. 21.
Dalton told police that earlier that Saturday when he opened up the Uber ride service app, a symbol, which he believed was the Eastern Star, popped up. Dalton said the symbol resembled a devil’s head and “that’s when all the problems started.”
“Dalton described the devil figure as a horned cow head or something like that and then it would give you an assignment and it would literally take over your whole body,” according to police reports released Monday to the Free Press by the Kalamazoo City Attorney’s Office.
His wife, Carole Dalton, told investigators with the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office that he had told her a different story. She said he told her that day that he was having problems with a jealous taxi driver who’d shot at him, and that she should stay away from their home unless she was armed, according to sheriff’s reports also released Monday.
Dalton told police he experienced “a full body takeover” during the shooting spree and expressed concern about being placed in the general population at the jail because of what he did.
“I asked Dalton what made him get his gun tonight and he said the Uber app made him,” an investigator said in the reports.
Dalton also told police the Uber app made him put on a bulletproof vest. He said he purchased the vest for his son, who is an “Explorer (scout) with the county.”
“… And Dalton told us that literally when he logged onto the site (referring to the Uber app) it started making him be like a puppet,” the report states.
He told police that when the Uber app turns from “red to black that is when he started having problems.” He said when the system switched from black to red, he “got his presence back.”
Jason Dalton told the detectives that when he was about to be arrested that night by police, he would have potentially “tried to have a shootout with the police” but the log went from the black symbol back to red and that’s when he “stopped his thought.”
He claimed he couldn’t remember much of the shootings because he wasn’t in control of his body.
“Dalton then told us that it feels like it is coming from the phone itself and he didn’t know how to describe that,” the report states. “…Dalton said that as he was sitting there with us, it was almost like artificial intelligence that can tap into your body.”
Jason Dalton said it was scary to him that he wasn’t sure how much he had done.
“Dalton said it would take you over to the point that you are like a puppet,” the report said. “Dalton said that he was afraid that maybe he could’ve killed his family.”