Dalton to face trial for Kalamazoo shooting rampage

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. —  After being hauled out of the courtroom by deputies for a sudden outburst while a victim was testifying, Jason Dalton has been ordered to stand trial on murder and attempted murder charges in connection with the Feb. 20 mass shooting in Kalamazoo.

Dalton is accused of killing six people and wounding two others in the shooting spree.

The preliminary hearing lasted most of the day, with shooting victim Tiana Carruthers, numerous law enforcement officers and experts, and the girlfriend of one of the victims testifying.

The hearing started with prosecutors calling Carruthers to the stand.  Dalton started rambling at Carruthers from the defense table.   She broke down crying and the judge called a recess.  Dalton also made a sudden move toward Carruthers.

Dalton was dragged out of the courtroom and appeared about two hours later for the continuation of the hearing  via a video feed from the jail.

Carruthers resumed taking the stand just after noon and tearfully described the scene at the Meadows Townhomes where she warned kids on a playground to run away when Dalton started firing.  She said after she was hit, she couldn't move and just acted as if she were dead.

She then identified Dalton, on the screen, as the person who was shooting at them.

"I can never forget his face," she said.

Alexis Cornish, who says she witnessed the shooting of two of the six people who were killed, also testfied Friday.

The 17-year-old said her boyfriend, Tyler Smith, was looking at a pickup truck with his father Rich Smith at the Seelye Kia dealership in Kalamazoo  when they were shot.

Cornish says she stayed inside the Smith vehicle while they looked at a truck, partly because it was a cold night. Asked how many shots were fired, she replied: "Enough not to miss."

Cornish described how she pulled Tyler's cell phone from his pocket after he had been shot and killed and called police.

Also taking the stand Friday were first responding police officers.

The deputy who arrested Dalton in downtown Kalamazoo that night testified that she patted Dalton down and found him with a 9MM pistol.

Prosecutors say Dalton carried out the attacks between picking up and dropping off Uber passengers on Feb. 20.  Police have quoted Dalton as saying a "devil figure" on Uber's app was controlling him.

At about 3 p.m., the judge ruled that there was enough evidence to send Dalton to trial.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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