Prosecutor: Kalamazoo shooting case ‘seemed more personal’

Posted at 7:22 PM, Mar 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-15 19:22:57-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Prosecutor Jeff Getting said he remembers the night of the rampage shootings well. “The emotion that I was feeling was anger,” he said of the night a total of eight people were shot, “anger that someone would do this, that someone would do this here in my town. You know, I’ve struggled with that a little bit because that’s not the way I normally react to these.”

That night, he first spoke with investigators at the Cracker Barrel in Texas Township about the four people who were shot — three of them killed and one critically injured. Then he went to the Seelye car dealership on Stadium Drive to learn about the father and son pair who were gunned down. Immediately he felt the pain.

Since the shootings happened on February 20, Getting and his prosecution team worked side by side with other investigating agencies to gather every clue and piece of evidence they could to get an understanding of what happened before and during the shootings. The result was a 221-page report that was released to the public on March 14.

In his 20-year career, said Getting, this was a case that hit home for him.

“I've been involved in the prosecution and the defense of several high profile cases, many murder cases,” said Getting. “This one, I don’t know how to describe it other than it seemed more personal, and I think that that’s consistent with the way the community has felt.”

Getting said he could not speak to the details of the report because the investigation is still ongoing.

However, he said no particular detail shocked him, but "the incident in its entirety I still find shocking. The way that it unfolded, how it happened, and that it happened here in Kalamazoo is shocking.”

The report revealed suspect Jason Dalton told police the Uber app on his phone influenced him to shoot and kill people. Getting said he doesn't think there will ever be an "acceptable" reason for why the shooting spree took place, but investigators will continue to search for a motive.

“I'm not certain that we’ll ever get a reasonable, a rational explanation for why,” said Getting. “I’m less concerned at this point with motive than I am making sure that we can meet all of those elements that we have to prove in court in order to ensure a guilty verdict.”