The Kalamazoo shooting, which claimed the lives of six innocent people at the hands of mass killer Jason Dalton, has rocked the nation. Now, more details about the Kalamazoo shooting have been released, and the person speaking out had a first-hand account of the terrifying ordeal and is sharing his story with the world.
According to the Daily Mail, Matt Mellon of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was the Uber passenger inside Dalton’s vehicle just before he allegedly began firing at random people. During a news interview with WWMT, Mellon recounted his initial interaction with Dalton prior to the Kalamazoo shooting. Once Mellon was inside the vehicle, Dalton reportedly declined to give his real name. He offered an alias that differed from his Uber driver name listed.
BREAKING: Source confirms Kalamazoo shooting suspect was an Uber driver, dropped off passengers amidst shootings. pic.twitter.com/rXDm22rP18— Luke Stier (@LukeStier) February 21, 2016
Although Mellon noted the suspicious action, he didn’t have much time to think, because things took an abrupt turn for the worst once he was inside the vehicle. Dalton reportedly sped through two medians and crossed over a lawn. Mellon reportedly jumped out of the vehicle as soon as he had a chance.
“He wouldn’t stop. He just kind of kept looking at me like – ‘don’t you want to get to your friend’s house?’ and I’m like I want to get there alive,” Mellon told WWMT.
Mellon also revealed that he and fiancée, Mackenize Waite, had taken precaution to protect his own friends and family after his disturbing encounter with Dalton. Waite took to Facebook with a photo of Dalton to warn others to steer clear of him if they needed an Uber ride later that night. She also shared terrifying details about Mellon’s near-deadly ride with Dalton.
Here’s an excerpt from her Facebook post.
“ATTENTION kzoo peeps!!!! This uber driver named JASON drives a silver Chevy Equinox is NOT a safe ride!” Waite wrote. “A little bit ago my fiancé got a ride with him and he was driving VERY erratically. They sideswiped a car blowing through the stop sign at Henderson castle and West Main Hill, and the driver continued driving.
“Then this man proceeded to drive 80mph down west main swerving in and out of oncoming traffic. Despite Matt pleading with this driver to pull over he refused. Finally when he slowed down the vehicle, Matt was able to get out. He was acting completely normal throughout all of this erratic driving!! Please share if you are in the kzoo area.”
But, unfortunately for some people, night never came, because shortly after Mellon’s encounter with Dalton, that Kalamazoo shooting occurred. By nightfall, the shooting was being reported all over the country.
According to MLive, a total of six victims were shot and killed at two different locations around the city — four at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in the Texas Township area and another two victims were fatally wounded at the Seelye Ford dealership in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In addition to the six victims killed during the deadly shooting, another two were reportedly injured. One of those victims, a 14-year-old girl, remains in ““extremely critical condition,” according to the Daily Mail.
Luckily, Mellon wasn’t injured during the Kalamazoo shooting, but he revealed exactly how he felt being closely involved with someone who went on a shooting rampage just moments after he’d interacted with him.
“[It was a] pretty scary ordeal especially to be so closely involved with it. I’m just happy I’m safe,” he said. “I’m upset because I tried contacting Uber after I had talked to the police saying that we needed to get this guy off the road.”
Although he has been identified as the shooter involved in the Kalamazoo shooting, investigators have yet to establish a motive, according to Detroit Free Press. Jason Dalton is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, February 22.
[Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images]