Uber shooter Jason Dalton sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole


    Jason Dalton moments before pleading guilty to six counts of murder and several other charges at the Kalamazoo County Courthouse on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Dalton, who was driving for Uber at the time shot eight people killing six of them, on Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016. Opening statements in the trial were scheduled to begin Tuesday, Jan. 8. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)

    Just 15 days before the third anniversary of a mass shooting that killed six people and critically injured two others, Uber shooter Jason Dalton was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Tuesday in a Kalamazoo County courtroom, concluding a saga riddled with years of legal delays and appeals that left the Kalamazoo community reeling since February 2016.

    Dalton pleaded guilty Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, to all 16 counts against him, including six counts of murder, two counts of assault with intent to commit murder and eight felony firearm charges.

    He was given six life sentences without the possibility of parole Tuesday; one life sentence for each of the six people killed in the Feb. 20, 2016 random shooting spree that seriously injured two others.

    Police said Dalton was working as an Uber driver the night of Feb. 20, 2016, and was the sole suspect in a night of terror, randomly shooting eight people at three different locations between fares.

    Rich Smith and his son, Tyler; Judy Brown; Mary Jo Nye and her sister-in-law Mary Lou Nye; and Barbara Hawthorne all lost their lives that night. Both Abigail Kopf, who survived being shot in the head, and Tiana Carruthers, a mother who was sprayed with bullets while shielding her daughter and other children, survived the chaos.

    "What were you thinking as you repeatedly shot and killed my family?" Emily Lemmer, the sister of Tyler Smith and daughter of Rich Smith, questioned Dalton in victim statements before sentencing.

    “What if it was your child? What if it was your child on the playground? You tried to kill us all - you failed," Carruthers said.

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