In a case that may portend a strange future of psychotic behavior and delusional thinking mixed with technology, an Uber driver in southwestern Michigan who was charged with six murders claims the ride-sharing app controlled his mind and caused his violent actions. Jason Dalton was arrested in Kalamazoo following a February 20th, 2016 rampage that left six people dead, including a 14-year-old girl.
Investigators do not believe Dalton knew any of the victims and initially struggled to find a motive. Dalton later told police authorities that “it feels like it is coming from the phone itself.” He described “like an artificial presence,” the police report said, that influenced him through his phone.
Police also said that Dalton does not consider himself a killer and said his actions are “scary” because he doesn’t remember what he did.
Dalton’s wife originally told investigators that on the night of the shootings he warned her that she wouldn’t be able to go back to work and the kids wouldn’t be able to go to school. When you watch the evening news, he had told her, you’ll understand.
Uber security chief Joe Sullivan issued a statement claiming that Dalton had a high rating and cleared all background checks.
Perhaps one of the most frightening reports comes from other customers Dalton drove the night of the shootings. One customer said, “And I halfheartedly joked at him and said… ‘You’re not the shooter are you?’ And he said ‘No… and I said ‘Are you sure?’ And he said ‘No, I’m just really tired,'” a man said. “He had a weapon in the car that he had just killed people with.”