The Uber driver accused of killing six people and injuring two others during a shooting spree in Kalamazoo, Michigan, told police he was a "puppet" of the app, which showed him a devil's head when he used it.
Authorities on Monday released police reports and 911 audio related to the shootings, which took place at several seemingly random locations in the Kalamazoo area on Feb. 20. Jason Dalton, 45, was arrested after a traffic stop and has been in jail on six counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, and eight felony firearms crimes.
In an interview on the night of his arrest, Dalton told officers that he did not remember his actions clearly, according to a police report.
Dalton had recently started driving for Uber, and told police that when he pressed a button on the app, he saw an "Eastern star" — a five-pointed star used by a sister society to the Free Masons — and a devil head.
"Dalton described the devil 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," the police report said.
Uber has said that the shootings could not have been foreseen and noted that Dalton had no previous criminal record.
Police told Dalton one of the shootings had been captured on surveillance video, but he said he didn't remember what happened. They asked why he was wearing a bullet-proof vest, and what he thought about having seriously injured one teenager and killed another.
"I asked Dalton what made him get his gun tonight and he said the Uber app made him," the police report states.
When police pulled him over, Dalton said the color of the app changed — signaling it no longer controlled him, he said in the interview. Dalton surrendered to officers and allowed them to take his gun.
"Dalton explained how he has experienced a full-body takeover, that is how he can understand the other mass shootings," the police report states.
A lawyer for Dalton has requested a psychiatric evaluation.
Claudia Koerner is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Claudia Koerner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.