54ºF

Uber passenger recalls Kalamazoo shooting rampage suspect's erratic driving

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Jason Dalton is facing multiple murder and gun charges after allegedly going on a 6-hour shooting spree Saturday throughout the Kalamazoo area. 

Dalton will be arraigned Monday afternoon. 

Meanwhile, a community is trying to pick up the pieces. Grief counselors were available Monday at Mattawan High School for those who knew 17-year-old Tyler Smith. 

"He was one of the happiest people you could ever meet. No one ever saw him without a smile on his face," said Mya Hoke, Smith's friend. 

Smith was a senior at the school. Police say he and his father were looking at cars at a dealership about 10 p.m. Saturday when they were gunned down. 

The school district's superintendent, Dr. Robin Buchler, said the high school has more than 30 counselors in place. 

"In the auditorium we have a quiet spot where they can just go in and not talk to anyone, just be there. We've designated about a half dozen classrooms that are staffed with grief counselors, who are well-trained," said Buchler. 

Buchler's son had class with Smith. His empty seat is devastating for students and staff. 

"He was really well-liked by a lot of the students. He was in the marketing program ... getting ready for his next journey at post-secondary," said the superintendent. 

Uber passenger: I jumped out and ran away

Dalton was an Uber driver. He apparently was taking fares between shootings Saturday night. Matt Mellen was one of his passengers. 

"We got maybe a mile from my house, he got a telephone call. After that telephone call he started driving really erratically. We were running stop signs," sad Mellen. 

Mellen was in the back seat of Dalton's Uber car less than two hours before the shootings started. 

"We were driving through medians. Driving through the lawns. Speeding along, and then finally once he came to a stop, I jumped out of the car and ran away," he said.