Who Are The Kalamazoo Victims? Police Believe The Suspected Shooter Chose Them At Random
Around 6 p.m. Saturday night, a 45-year-old man allegedly opened fire, killing six people, and seriously injuring two others in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The shooting was reportedly done at random, and authorities said the killer had "no rhyme or reason", leaving many to wonder, who the Kalamazoo victims are and why they became the suspected gunman's targets. Unfortunately, gun violence has become a familiar cog in American culture, and as more and more people fall victim to senseless gun violence, the more the American people pay less attention to the victims, and more attention to the suspects themselves. Update: The Los Angeles Times has reported the victims identities as Mary Lou Nye, 62; Mary Jo Nye, 62; Barbara Hawthorne, 68; Dorothy Brown, 74; Tyler Smith, 17; and Richard Smith, 53.
What makes the Kalamazoo shooting so disturbing — and even more difficult to comprehend — is the fact that the killings were random, with the victims seemingly having no connection to the shooter whatsoever. Most were in parking lots, spending time with their families and going about their Saturday evenings. While their names have yet to be released, we do know that the first victim shot was a woman, who sustained multiple wounds outside of an apartment complex. According to authorities, she was scheduled for surgery Sunday morning. The next two victims were a father and a son, shot and killed five hours and 15 miles away, in the parking lot of a car dealership while they were shopping for a vehicle.
Five people — including a 14-year-old teenage girl who authorities initially reported as deceased — were shot in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel, along Interstate 94. As of Sunday morning, the teenage girl was listed in critical condition.
Authorities successfully detained the suspected shooter, Jason Brian Dalton, 45, after a seven hour manhunt, and he is scheduled to be formally charged early Monday morning. While we do know the alleged gunman's name, it is worth noting that police have not released many details on him yet — which may be a good thing. (Alleged crimes should not warrant notoriety or infamy, after all.)
People took to twitter to voice their well wishes, with many visibly frustrated at the seeming lack of shock over another deadly shooting. In 140 characters or less, it's obvious that while this latest shooting is disturbing, horrific and tragic, it is not something that surprises the public anymore:
headline said 14yrs still alive...ONLY 6 dead, sad when we even have to state only (insert #) ppl dead in mass shootings #KalamazooShooting— Mya H (@mymy13) February 21, 2016
So how many more mass shootings until people realize we need some change in this country? #KalamazooShooting— sadie (@svdie) February 21, 2016
While our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, I truly hope that we offer more to them than that, the ones we have lost to gun violence, and the people we have left to protect. We must do more than feign outrage for a few days, only to have the same tragedy repeat itself.