Kalamazoo Shooter Says Uber App Demonically Controlled Him

Ronnie Schreiber
by Ronnie Schreiber
kalamazoo shooter says uber app demonically controlled him

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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4 of 47 comments
  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Mar 16, 2016

    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.

  • Madanthony Madanthony on Mar 16, 2016

    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.

    • See 1 previous
    • 05lgt 05lgt on Mar 17, 2016

      @DeadWeight His story speaks so directly to that definition of insanity that it does draw his veracity into question. Did he actually cover them in order?

  • Sam Who do I sue when the car doesn't do what I want it to and that action of the car being autonomous caused the crash?
  • Norman Stansfield Automatic braking systems reward bad behavior. Stop incentivizing lousy driving behavior.
  • Kwik_Shift It was an annoying feature on my 2018 Nissan Sentra SV. Bugs, leaves and snow would disable it. Should have been a better design .
  • Master Baiter A regulator's job is never done, so yeah, bring on the next level of regulations.
  • DedBull The automatic braking system in my wife's 2019 Tiguan is easily defeated by the slightest amount of solid precipitation, which is not uncommon here in western Pennsylvania. Fortunately we have regular speed-holding cruise control, because the active cruise control uses the same sensor and becomes inactive in the same conditions. It was infuriating in our loaner. I've had a few false-positives over the years, plus a couple where it didn't like my rate of deceleration. Interestingly it did not intervene at all when I had a deer strike a couple years ago. I don't mind the application of the tech, but I think they are setting a pretty high bar going forward. I'm also cautious of over-reliance on tech in vehicles.