An Uber driver in the U.S. has sensationally pleaded guilty to murdering six people in 2016 in between giving rides, meaning he is set to face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Jason Dalton, 48, pleaded guilty to all counts of murder and attempted murder and faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Following his arrest that evening, Uber confirmed that Mr Dalton was a driver registered with the app-based cab-hailing company, issuing a statement saying that it was "horrified and heartbroken" at the violence.
He answered "yes" to a series of questions, admitting that he shot eight people at three locations - an apartment building, a restaurant and a vehicle dealership - in the Kalamazoo area in February 2016.
He told the judge at the Kalamazoo County court that he had made the decision of his own free will, adding that he had "wanted this for quite a while".
Throughout the rest of the hearing, Dalton remained in a holding cell with two police escorts, following the hearing by video conference. A father and son were shot dead at a auto dealership.
Four women were killed outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant.
A passenger named Derek, who rode with Dalton between killings on that day, told NPR he got into the Uber ride and "jokingly" asked, "You aren't the shooter, are you?'"
In an interview with detectives, Dalton said the Uber app "literally took over his mind and body" on February 20 when the color of the app's symbol changed from red to black.
Jason Dalton talks with his defense attorney Eusebio Solis moments before pleading guilty to six counts of murder and several other charges at the Kalamazoo County Courthouse on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019 in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Dalton had previously made freakish outbursts in past court appearances, but was found competent to stand trial.
"We're very happy that we're able to reach this resolution in the case", Getting said. "Doing this is what's best for the people of this community, it's what's best for our victims". He does not want to put his family through that, or the victims' families, through the trial.
Families are scheduled to return to court for Dalton's sentencing on Tuesday, Feb. 5.