Alleged Kalamazoo mass killer had arsenal of guns at home

We're learning more about accused killer Jason Dalton.

This story originally was published Feb. 24, 2016.

Jason Dalton's neighbors have said he liked guns, but just how much is becoming more apparent as additional details come out about the killing spree that the Uber driver is accused of committing in Kalamazoo.

Eleven long guns --  mainly rifles -- and four handguns were seized from Dalton's home in rural Cooper Township, north of Kalamazoo, in the aftermath of Saturday's shootings that left six people dead and two others gravely wounded.

A neighbor told the Free Press today that Dalton regularly shot off his guns, sometimes for hours on end.

Donald Dawkins, public information officer for the Detroit field division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said ATF agents assisted in the investigation at Dalton's home Sunday and recovered “several long guns and several handguns."

Dawkins said most of the long guns were rifles and the handguns were an assortment of makes and models, which have all been turned over to the Michigan State Police's crime lab for examination.

"He had several firearms that were in the residence we are helping to trace," Dawkins said. "Right now, we are just kind of working with them on the tracing of the firearms and all of that info has not come in yet."

Dawkins confirmed that the gun used during the shootings were purchased by Dalton and registered to him. Dawkins couldn't release any additional information beyond that.

Police say they believe Dalton, a 45-year-old married father of two, might have fired at least 30 rounds across three crime scenes Saturday from a 9mm semiautomatic handgun.  The victims ranged from 14 to 74 years old. Dalton, who moonlighted as an Uber ride service driver, admitted to killing people, a prosecutor said Monday.

Authorities allege that he shot the first victim outside of an apartment complex and that he shot seven others over the next several hours.

Neighbors who lived near Dalton were stunned by violence, but  previously said they knew he "liked guns."

David Fowler, a 68-year-old Vietnam War veteran, lives kitty-corner to Dalton and said he would regularly hear him "cut loose" and shoot repeatedly for hours.

"They would be shooting all day long," Fowler said Wednesday. "It was like an army shooting. Very rapid. It wasn't an automatic weapon, but semiautomatic. It sounded to me like rifle fire every so often. ... It really sounded like a private shooting range, but if you look at his house, he didn't really have that much property around his house or a big sand bank."

Fowler said he didn't know Dalton or his family personally and rarely saw him, but the random gunfire stuck in his mind.

"I used to think wow, someone is sure burning up a lot of money with the amount of gunfire I would hear," Fowler said.

Fowler said he didn't realize Dalton was the alleged shooter until he saw numerous police vehicles and news vans surrounding the small ranch home.

"It sends chills up and down my spine," Fowler said. "It makes me wonder if ever he had his crosshairs on me while I was out cutting my grass. ...I'm praying for the families of the victim, I'm also praying for the family of that man and for him.I can't imagine waking up Sunday morning, if I were in his shoes, and thinking, 'Good Lord, what did I just do.' "

Detroit Free Press


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