By on March 16, 2016

Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office

According to police investigators, James Dalton, 45, the Uber driver accused of randomly shooting eight and killing six people in the Kalamazoo area, said he did so under the demonic mind control of the Uber app on his phone. “It feels like it is coming from the phone itself,” Dalton told the police.

He said that first a pentagram, an inverted five pointed star, would appear on his phone and then a figure he described as the devil would pop up through Uber when he pressed the app button. Dalton described the figure as a “horned cow head or something like that and then it would give you an assignment and it would literally take over your whole body.”

He said that he didn’t aim, and that the demon in the Uber app controlled his arm.

Dalton has been charged with both murder and attempted murder in the Feb. 20 shootings that took place over a five hour period, apparently interspersed with Dalton picking up Uber fares in his blue Chevrolet HHR. He told investigators that at some point during the shooting spree he went home and fired a shotgun into his garden shed, in the direction of what he said was controlling him, apparently to stop it.

The alleged shooter, who was carrying a loaded 9 mm handgun and wearing a bulletproof vest when he was arrested, told officers that he decided not to get into a shootout with them because the color of the Uber app on his phone changed from black to red.

Dalton’s attorney, Eusebio Solis, told a judge at a preliminary examination earlier in March that his client doesn’t seem to understand the case against him, even though Dalton has told police that he understood that he had killed. Solis asked for and was granted an order for Dalton to be evaluated at Michigan’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry in Ann Arbor.

Dalton has no reported history of mental illness. So far Uber has not commented on these latest developments. Police say that they doubt that he was inspired by his Uber app.

[Image Source: Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office]

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. Thanks for reading – RJS.

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47 Comments on “Kalamazoo Shooter Says Uber App Demonically Controlled Him...”


  • avatar

    EXECUTE HIM.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      No death penalty in Michigan, which is madness.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Well that’s good, the taxpayers there get to cover his hotel fees for the rest of his life.

        • 0 avatar
          Sloomis

          Still cheaper than a death sentence and the subsequent appeals, though.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            How’s that work, though? Jail includes appeals as well. There has to be a point of intersection of costs.

            Also, why so much to put someone down? Vets can do it to your old cat for what, $75? :D

        • 0 avatar
          Sloomis

          CoreyDL
          Can’t reply to your reply, so I’ll reply to your original comment. Here’s an article from Forbes that explains it.

          http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2014/05/01/considering-the-death-penalty-your-tax-dollars-at-work/#7ce5a04d17f0

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Makes sense, legal costs so much higher for the death row route, while prison spending has increased as well – no doubt due to the drugs these sickos need for mental and physical health.

            This makes me ask how other countries do it for much cheaper. It seems like the US has such inefficiencies on anything dealing with life/death/health.

            On another note, if the drugs route is too “risky” and that it might take a while and “torture” the inmate – bullets work just fine. Two oughta do it.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        Madness is giving an organization as demonstrably inept as the state of Michigan the authority to outright kill people.

        Someday when they figure out how to properly fill potholes we can then have a discussion about giving them the power of life and death.

      • 0 avatar

        Though I have no problem with capital punishment, if meted out fairly, I respect tradition and Michigan outlawed capital punishment soon after it became a state in 1837. You don’t change things like that willy-nilly.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Old Testament = Eye for an eye

          New Testament = Turn the other cheek

          Discuss.

          Bonus query:

          Was Jesus an anti-establishment, peace loving rebel, at least in part, due to the fact that his strict orthodox jewish father was so harsh?

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        no, it isn’t. you can undo a prison sentence, you can’t undo an execution.

        and I’m not 100% opposed to capital punishment, but I think the burden of proof to win a conviction (proof beyond a reasonable doubt) is not stringent enough for a capital sentence.

    • 0 avatar
      Sloomis

      The man is apparently delusional and severely mentally ill. I don’t know that that would be a just punishment.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        It’s not about punishment. No need to torture the poor guy or anything. Just get rid of him. He’s broken and not worth fixing.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “He’s broken and not worth fixing.”

          That belief has been applied multiple times throughout history.

          DeadWeight mentioned the Old and New Testament.

          Jesus must have been broken and not worth fixing too.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            Religion goes right over my head. I completely failed to make the connection between Jesus and this guy.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The moral & constitutional appropriateness of the death penalty is a great, great topic for TTAC.

      Next up: Trump vs Clinton.

      Merrick Garland should/should not receive up/down vote.

      Merits of The Federalist Papers in 21st Century American Society.

      In Re Apple -v- DOJ (encryption).

      . Strict scrutiny litmus test as it protects free speech of speaker vs rights of protestors during . such speech.

      Should vendors shafted by government prepared/enabled bankruptcy of Government Motors have cause of action against against government to receive pecuniary damages.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-Iron

        You forgot to mention that the Super 7 is an inferior driving experience to the original Lotus 7, so your comment will be flagged (under the old “just bring it back to cars” rules).

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Clinton, because she is basically sane. Yes, but it’s not a constitutional crisis if he doesn’t — just an extraordinary act of rudeness. They are observant about human nature but not too relevant about what the law should be. Apple, because otherwise there won’t be any internet anymore. There is a right–applicable to both sides–to get in a shouting match. No.

        You need harder questions.

        • 0 avatar

          Wheeee!!!!

          “Was Jesus an anti-establishment, peace loving rebel, at least in part, due to the fact that his strict orthodox jewish father was so harsh?”

          “Next up: Trump vs Clinton.

          Merrick Garland should/should not receive up/down vote.

          Merits of The Federalist Papers in 21st Century American Society.

          In Re Apple -v- DOJ (encryption).

          . Strict scrutiny litmus test as it protects free speech of speaker vs rights of protestors during . such speech.”

          Wheee!!! Wheee!!! And WOW. Nicely done.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    I so sick of Uber taking over people’s brains.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Ruggles is seeking leave of the court, despite not being an attorney, to file an amicus brief arguing that these murders happened because Uber and similar services cut into or otherwise weaken automotive dealership franchise rights.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    On a possibly-related note, while riding the R train this morning, there was a young man, normally dressed, but wearing a very convincing set of devil horns that were a good 8-10 inches long.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGrieves

      He’s probably friends with the guy who has the giant sticker on his coal-rolling truck that says “I’d Rather Be Cummin’ than Strokin’!”

      The real joy is explaining to my 8 year old daughter (in a less than honest way) what that meant after we saw him in traffic.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        “He wishes he could stop playing with his wee-wee so much, like that boy in your kindergarten class. At his age, it’s embarrassing. He’s crying for help.”

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      Did you go on a murderous rampage? No? Clearly public transportation is superior to Uber.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      He was very well-behaved.

      A bunch of year back on a subway platform in Brooklyn, I saw a disaffected-looking teenager wearing one of those “Hello I’m…” stickers introducing himself as “Satan”.

  • avatar

    I think that app is affecting me too. Just this morning I looked at the icon and then looked at a Pontiac Aztek on craigslist. The Aztek looked really hot for a minute. Then my eyes re-focused and I came back to my senses.

  • avatar
    JK43123

    I would think the app would tell you to fire on cabs and transit buses so people would be afraid to use them and call Uber instead.

    John

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    I understand people thinking that the devil is telling them to do stuff, what I don’t get is that they decide to listen to him.

    The guy’s not really known for giving great advice.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    The truth is that Uber *is* evil. They are the worst kind of employer, offering no benefits or employee protection to their drivers all the while requiring them to adhere to ever-changing standards while the compensations rate is going down.

    Yay! Everyone’s a self-employed contractor!

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      He’s now filed a complaint against Uber along those lines.

      “My life is ruined because of Uber,” the letter states. “My wife is divorcing me because of Uber.”

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/03/16/uber-driver-accused-of/

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    They should ask other Uber drivers if they’re seeing the same things. Maybe the guy has a point.

    Just imagine the parade of witnesses in court, corroborating his claim. French taxi drivers would be euphoric.

  • avatar

    This is one of those times where the guy’s craziness is just so crazy that I can’t help but wonder if he’s just laying the groundwork for an insanity defense.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      There’s a very high burden of proof to meet in order to avoid criminal prosecution & conviction (leading to prison sentence imposed) by way of successfully meeting legal definition of “insanity”:

      “Mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot distinguish fantasy from reality, cannot conduct her/his affairs due to psychosis, or is subject to uncontrollable impulsive behavior. Insanity is distinguished from low intelligence or mental deficiency due to age or injury.”


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