Uber driver shooting victim shielded children from gunfire

The woman moved to put herself between the car and the children

US shootings, Michigan, Uber driver, Kalamazoo, Jason Dalton, murder charges,

Jason Dalton, of Kalamazoo Township, Mich., is arraigned via video before Judge Christopher T Haenicke | Image: Carlos Osorio / AP/Press Association Images

A woman who was wounded during a deadly shooting spree in the US state of Michigan used her body to shield several children from gunfire, authorities have said.

She was standing outside with three or four children at an apartment complex's playground when a man approached in a car, Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller said.

The woman sensed trouble and moved to put herself between the car and the children before telling them to run home, he told the AP news agency.

The woman, whose name has not been released, was shot multiple times in what became the first of three separate shooting incidents on Saturday that left six people dead.

Prosecutors on Monday filed 16 charges against Jason Dalton, who they said "ultimately admitted" to the killings, telling investigators that "he took people's lives".

The 45-year-old Uber taxi driver faces six counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder, which carry a mandatory life sentence.

He was denied bail during an initial court appearance via video conference on Monday, and will be appointed an attorney.

Police are still trying to determine what motivated Dalton to go on the apparently random shooting spree.

Federal agents reportedly seized several firearms from his home, but a spokesman from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said there is no indication Dalton was prohibited from possessing the weapons.

An Uber representative said Dalton had passed background checks.

The company acknowledged on Monday that it received complaints about Dalton from several passengers, including one about erratic driving.

Prosecutors said Dalton randomly shot multiple times at people over a five-hour period, beginning at the apartment complex at about 5.30pm.

At about 10.00pm, he allegedly shot dead a father and son at a car dealership before driving to a nearby Cracker Barrel restaurant, where he killed four people standing outside.

Dalton was arrested without incident while driving away from the restaurant car park.

The six victims have been identified as Richard Smith (53), Tyler Smith (18), Mary Lou Nye (62), Mary Jo Nye (60), Barbara Hawthorne (68) and Dorothy Brown (74).

The wounded female victim has had a series of operations and is improving, but Sheriff Fuller said she faces a long recovery.