According to a police report released on Monday, Jason Brian Dalton, the Uber driver accused in the apparently random shooting spree that left six people dead in Kalamazoo, Michigan, last month, told officers that the Uber app on his phone was controlling him at the time of the spree.
When he opened the app, Dalton told police, a symbol would appear that “would literally take over your whole body,” Det. William Moorian of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety wrote in his report, obtained by the Kalamazoo Gazette and MLive.com through the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. The app “literally took over his mind and body,” Moorian wrote.
Dalton has been charged with six counts of murder, two counts of assault with intent to commit murder, and eight counts of felony firearm use. Authorities have struggled to discern a motive for the shooting, which Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley called “baffling.”
“I asked Dalton what was going through his mind tonight at Don Seelye Ford and he said he didn’t want to say,” Moorian wrote in his report. “I informed Dalton that the entire incident is on video at Don Seelye. Dalton said that if we only knew, it would blow our mind.”
“Dalton then explains how when he opens up the Uber taxi app a symbol appeared and he recognized that symbol as the Eastern Star symbol. Dalton acknowledged that he recognized the Uber symbol as being that of the Eastern Star and a devil head popped up on his screen and when he pressed the button on the app, that is when all the problems started.”
Dalton—whose mental competency will be determined no later than May 2—reportedly told detectives that he had only begun driving for Uber the previous Thursday, and that the “devil figure” would give assignments. From MLive.com:
That remark from Dalton, according to Moorian’s report, prompted McGehee to ask what assignment the Uber app gave him on Feb. 20, to which Dalton responded that he didn’t remember anything from the time he logged onto the app earlier in the day.
“Dalton was asked if he recalled shooting some people tonight and he said he did recall that, but other than that, he doesn’t remember anything,” Moorian wrote. “Dalton said that it starts out that you have to follow the navigation, but it gets to the point where you don’t have to drive at all, the car just goes ... Dalton said he was seeing himself from outside of his body.”
“Dalton said that he understands now how the other mass shootings take place,” the detective wrote. “Dalton explained how he has experienced a full body takeover, that is how he can understand the other mass shootings.”