Uber passenger's hellraising ride before rampage

Man suspected of killing six in the US at the weekend was a driver confirms taxi company

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Police tape surrounds the area of a random shooting on Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (AP Photo/Mike Householder)

A man has spoken of the moment he was taken on a terrifying ride by an Uber taxi driver suspected of killing six people in a four-hour shooting spree in Michigan.

Kalamazoo County resident Matt Mellen said he was a passenger in 45-year-old Jason Dalton's car a few of hours before the rampage began on Sunday.

"We were driving through medians (central reservations), driving through the lawn, speeding along and when we came to a stop, I jumped out the car and ran away," Mr Mellen told news channel WWMT.

"He wouldn't stop. He just kind of kept looking at me, like 'Don't you want to get to your friend's house' and I'm like, I want to get there alive."

Mr Mellen leaped out of the car and called police before telling his fiancée what had happened and she posted Dalton's picture on Facebook as a warning to others.

Uber has confirmed the news that the suspect was one of their drivers on Twitter.

Shooting timeline

The shootings began at 6pm on Sunday. The gunman's first victim was a woman who was with her three children outside a block of flats when she was shot. She was seriously wounded but is expected to survive.

The gunman next struck at 10pm, killing an 18-year-old boy and a man believed to be his father at a car showroom.

The last and deadliest shooting came 10 to 15 minutes later at the Cracker Barrel restaurant where four more people were killed.

Random targets

"What it looks like is we have somebody driving around, finding people and shooting them dead in their tracks," Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas told local media at the time.

"This is your worst nightmare, when you have somebody just driving around randomly killing people," he added.
Police have confirmed that Dalton, who was arrested two hours later when police saw his car leaving a bar in the town, was a driver for online taxi service Uber.

"Police pulled the car over without incident," said Kalamazoo County prosecutor Jeff Getting. "They were able to make an arrest of the suspect without any significant incident."