Two women have revealed they almost got a ride from Uber driver Jason Dalton during his shooting spree in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Dalton, 45, is charged with killing six people and injuring two on Saturday night.
Mallory Lemieux and Tori Curtis, both college students, claim they requested a car from the ride-share app and received a notification saying they would be with Jason in a Chevrolet.
However, moments before leaving the bar they were in, Lemieux’s father texted saying police were looking for a man in a Chevrolet, adding: ‘multiple shootings with people dead…get home please’.
Fearing the worst, Lemieux says she canceled the car and tried to order another – but again was assigned to Jason in a Chevrolet. When she tried once more, the same thing happened, she told ABC News.
Four minutes after she canceled the ride for the last time, police arrested Dalton after he drove out of a bar parking lot.
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Tori Curtis (left) and Mallory Lemieux (right), both college students (pictured here with a friend, center), claim they requested a car with the ride-share app from the bar they were in and received a notification saying they would be with Jason in a Chevrolet
Moments before Tori (left) and Mallory (right) left the bar they were in, Mallory’s father texted saying police were looking for a man in a Chevrolet, adding: ‘multiple shootings with people dead…get home please’
Charged: Jason Dalton, 45, is charged with killing six people and injuring two on Saturday night
‘It definitely just makes us feel really lucky that we followed our instinct and we didn’t get in that car,’ Curtis told ABC News on Wednesday.
They did not state which bar they were in.
The news comes after Daily Mail Online exclusively revealed police believe Dalton was ‘aiming at kids’ during his shooting spree.
Undersheriff Paul Matyas said investigators had reason to believe that the shooter was aiming at young children when he opened fire at 6pm on Saturday near an apartment complex in Kalamazoo County.
Tiana Carruthers, 25, was shot multiple times from five feet away but survived and was able to give an account of what happened.
The suspect drove up to her and asked if her name was Maya or Mara and she said no. He drove away but circled around the parking lot of the complex until he was about five feet away and then drew a gun.
‘From inside his car he started shooting at her. He shot all over the place and hit her several times,’ the officer said.
Abigail Kopf, 14, (left) was still fighting for her life in hospital on Tuesday after she was shot in the head. Tiana Carruthers (right) was shot after she jumped in front of children when the gunman arrived at her apartment
Tyler Smith, 17 (right), was killed in the parking lot of Seelye Kia, along with his father, Rich (left), while they were looking at cars, multiple reports suggest
Sisters-in-law Mary Jo Nye, 60, (left) and Mary Lou Nye, 63, (right) were killed during the shooting spree
Barbara Hawthorne (left), 68, and Dorothy Brown (right), 70, were also identified as victims of the rampage. None of those shot and killed are believed to have known Dalton
‘She had thought something wasn’t right when he circled back. There were some kids she was babysitting and she told them to go into the house.
‘A bunch of them headed that way but there were three or four kids that stayed.
‘We think he may have been trying to hit the kids based on the spray that the shots took.’
Matyas described the children as ‘little bitty tykes’.
He added: ‘The suspect fired a tremendous amount of shots everywhere he went’.
Investigators had interviewed the suspect’s family to see if they could offer any clues as to what sparked the shooting rampage.
‘They are just shocked. They didn’t see it either. They’ve not indicated to us any recent bizarre behavior,’ Matyas said.
‘We’ve spoken to the wife and they weren’t home that day. The two kids were with the mom.
‘The family was never at risk at any point in time in this whole episode.’
Dalton appeared to have no extreme views and no alcohol or drugs were involved in the incident, police said.
Matyas said: ‘He had no affiliations with anybody for anything.’
Investigators focused on a 9mm semi-automatic handgun and a cellphone seized from Dalton, as well as the fact that he picked up fares for the Uber car-hailing service between or after the shooting episodes.
‘This person was not on our radar at all. He had no prior police contact, no criminal record. He was just an average guy with a family. He was an average guy.
‘That’s what’s scary. If there was something that had alerted you, that’s one thing. But there’s nothing, just nothing.
‘Here we are almost three days in and we don’t know why any more than ten minutes after it happened.
Matyas added: ‘We’re probably weeks away from finding out, but in the end, the final analysis might be: This was a guy who just cracked up.’
He said the town was reeling from the mass shooting.
‘This is something that we’ve seen happen in Oregon, in Connecticut and in Columbine.
‘And on Saturday night, it visited Kalamazoo.’
FROM HIS FIRST FARE TO HIS SURRENDER: HOW THE KALAMAZOO SHOOTING SPREE UNFOLDED
– Around 4:30 p.m.: Dalton picks up a fare, Matt Mellen, who tells WWMT-TV that after ending a phone call, Dalton began speeding, sideswiping cars and driving over lawns and medians. He says he jumped out and ran when the car stopped, and that he called police and tried to warn Uber.
– 5:42 p.m.: The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office is called to the scene of the first attack, an apartment complex on the eastern edge of Kalamazoo County where a woman had been shot multiple times. She is expected to survive.
– Around 7 p.m.: Dalton is seen at his home, according to a neighbor. James Block, who has lived next door to Dalton for 17 years, says his niece saw Dalton pull out of his driveway, rapidly back up toward his garage, then drive off.
– 10:08 p.m.: A father and his 17-year-old son are fatally shot while looking at cars at Seelye Kia of Kalamazoo.
– 10:24 p.m.: Five people — including a 14-year-old girl — are gunned down in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant. Four are killed, and the teenager is critically wounded.
– 12:40 a.m.: Dalton is arrested without incident after a deputy spotted his vehicle driving through downtown Kalamazoo after leaving a bar parking lot.