News World Uber driver charged with six murders
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Uber driver charged with six murders

Jason Dalton
AAP
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An Uber driver who allegedly went on a weekend killing spree in the US has been charged with 16 crimes, including six murders.

Jason Brian Dalton, 45, appeared via videolink from a Michigan jail as a judge read the charges against him on Tuesday morning (AEDT).

It is alleged that Dalton randomly shot multiple times at civilians during a five-hour rampage outside an apartment building, car dealership and a restaurant in the city of Kalamazoo.

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He was denied bail and will face another hearing on March 3. 

The police were also investigating reports Dalton had driven Uber customers in a car on the night of the incidents, Reuters reported.

Two other people were wounded in the attack, including a girl, 14, who was initially thought to have died.

“The Kalamazoo community is reeling from these senseless acts of violence that took so many innocent lives from us,” said Jeffrey Getting, the county’s prosecuting attorney.

US President Barack Obama said he had spoken to the mayor and law enforcement officials in Kalamazoo about the shootings. He pledged whatever federal support needed.

jason dalton
Mr Dalton was driving for Uber just before the rampage. Photo: AAP

“Earlier this year, I took some steps that will make it harder for dangerous people like this individual to buy a gun. But clearly, we’re going to need to do more if we’re going to keep innocent Americans safe,” Mr Obama said at the White House.

Police alleged the shooting began at about 5:30pm on Saturday (local time).

At about 10pm, Richard Smith and his son Tyler were killed at the car dealership.

He then allegedly began firing outside the restaurant about 15 minutes later, killing four women identified as Mary Lou Nye, 62, of Baroda, Michigan; and Dorothy Brown, 74; Barbara Hawthorne, 68; and Mary Jo Nye, 60, all of Battle Creek, Michigan.

According to prosecutors, the victims were shot numerous times and were chosen randomly.

The incident has raised questions about how Uber vets its drivers. Critics have criticised the company for never meeting drivers in person.

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