At least six people shot dead and several others wounded in Michigan

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
At least six people shot dead and several others wounded in Michigan

At least six people were shot and killed and several others wounded in Michigan on Saturday night in a series of apparently random shootings, authorities said.

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety said on its Facebook page the six people were killed in at least three shootings throughout Kalamazoo County.

“We seem to be dealing with a worst-case scenario, someone driving around shooting,” Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas told NBC News. At least three people were wounded in the attacks.

One man, aged 45, has been arrested in connection with the killings.

Mr Matyas said the man did not resist when approached by officers, and weapons were found in the suspect’s vehicle.

Asked if he was confident that the man apprehended by police is the person who carried out the shootings, Mr Matyas said: “The threat to the public is over. We now have our suspect.”

Earlier, Mr Matyas had said a suspect appeared to be driving around the area and targeting people, and that there were multiple fatalities.

The shootings took place in car parks at three locations - a Cracker Barrel restaurant, a Ford dealership and an apartment complex. Mr Matyas said police believed the shootings had not targeted particular people. “These are random murders,” he said.

Michigan State Police Lt Dale Hinz told WWMT-TV the shootings were “incomprehensible”.

The suspect was believed to be driving a dark colored Chevy HHR SUV with chrome wheels.

According to local media, four people were shot dead at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Texas Township, and two more died at the Seelye Kia dealership in Kalamazoo, in southwest Michigan.

The killings began early on Saturday evening when Mr Matyas said police were first called to a Kalamazoo County apartment building where a woman was shot multiple times before later being listed in serious condition.

Hours later, they were called to the car dealership where two people were shot and killed, and a third was wounded.

Four people were killed at a third shooting scene in the Cracker Barrel parking lot, where the gunman opened fire on people in their cars after a brief conversation. A fifth person there was critically wounded, Mr Matyas said.

The victims and shooting scenes appeared to have no link apart from the suspect. No motive for the seemingly random shootings had been determined.

Authorities could not be reached to verify the reports independently, but confirmed the deaths in interviews with news media posted on their web sites.

The victims’ identities were not released, but local media said one fatality was an eight-year-old boy.