Support swells for victims of Kalamazoo mass shooting

Posted at 12:14 PM, Feb 21, 2016

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Several state and local leaders in Michigan are sending their condolences to the victims and their families in Saturday night’s mass shooting in Kalamazoo.

Six people were killed and two were wounded in three shootings across Kalamazoo County.  Four women were killed in the parking lot of the Cracker Barrel in Texas Township. Two other victims, a father and his teen son, were killed at the Seelye KIA on Stadium Drive.

Two others were seriously wounded.

The suspected shooter, 45-year-old Jason Dalton, was taken into custody by police Sunday morning.

Governor Rick Snyder issued a release about the tragedy stating,

“The victims and their families — and the entire Kalamazoo area — should be in everyone’s thoughts today. Members of the community and law enforcement officers from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department, Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Michigan State Police who quickly came together are to be commended for their cooperation and swift response. Their actions resulted in the suspect being caught before he was able to harm anyone else through these senseless and apparently random acts of violence.”

Gov. Snyder visited Kalamazoo to meet with first responders and the families of the injured victims who remain in critical condition. Snyder says a 14-year-old girl wounded in a shooting rampage in the Kalamazoo area is “working hard to stay alive.”

Snyder said the girl was part of a group returning home after seeing a play and “someone comes up and shoots them.”

State Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, posted on Facebook, thanking emergency workers for putting their lives on the line to prevent the shooting from being worse.

Michigan U.S. Sen.Gary Peters tweeted the following Sunday:

Bishop Paul J. Bradley also released a statement in the aftermath of the tragic violence in Kalamazoo County. Bradley’s comments went out to the victims saying:

 “We are shocked and saddened by the horrific acts of violence in our beloved Kalamazoo last evening.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the six innocent people whose lives in this world were so mercilessly ended.  May they live forever with God in the life of the world to come.  We also pray for the perpetrator; may God show him mercy and change his heart.  We commend the courage and dedication of our first responders for their commitment to keeping our community safe.”.

Prayer mass at St. Augustine in Kalamazoo

Prayer mass at St. Augustine in Kalamazoo

Bishop Bradley invited the community to come together for an afternoon Mass at St. Augustine Cathedral on Sunday to pray for the victims, the injured and traumatized, and to end the violence.

Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell also sent out messages on Twitter reacting to the violence:

Mayor Bobby Hopewell spoke with FOX 17: “I just hope that we can just be there for each other and be there for the victims and make our way through this.”

State Rep. Brandt Iden of Oshtemo also issued a statement on Sunday:

“Our community has been rocked by the apparently random shootings that were perpetrated last night, stealing the lives of six people, critically injuring two others, and devastating countless family members and friends of these victims. I encourage people to keep the victims, their families and friends in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. A prayer service will be held tonight at Centerpoint Church, 2345 N. 10th St., in Kalamazoo beginning at 7 p.m. Area residents are encouraged to attend this special service in support of the victims of this tragedy. In addition, we should thank our first responders and law enforcement officials who worked diligently to find and detain the suspect, and who will continue to work countless hours to ensure justice is served for these heinous acts.”