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At least seven killed in random Michigan shootings; suspect held

AP

A gunman drove in and around a western Michigan city randomly shooting people in the parking lots of an apartment complex, a car dealership and a restaurant and killing at least seven, including a 14-year-old girl, authorities said.

A 45-year-old man was arrested early Sunday in downtown Kalamazoo following a massive manhunt after the shootings began early Saturday evening, authorities said.

A 14-year-old girl was among five people fatally shot outside a Cracker Barrel restaurant, said Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas, while a father and son were killed at the dealership. A woman who was shot multiple times at an apartment complex was in serious condition early Sunday, Matyas said, correcting an earlier statement in which he had said nine people had been shot.

Matyas said earlier that authorities did not believe the shootings were targeted at specific people, describing them as “our worst case scenario.”

“These are random murders,” he said.

He described a terrifying rampage that began about 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the apartment complex in Richland Township on the eastern edge of the Kalamazoo County, where the woman was shot and seriously wounded. About four hours later and 15 miles away, the father and son were fatally shot while looking at cars. Fifteen minutes after that, five people were shot in the parking lot of the Cracker Barrel along Interstate 94, including the teenager.

The suspect was arrested about 12:40 a.m., authorities said. Matyas told WWMT-TV that the man did not resist when approached by law enforcement officers, and that weapons were found in his vehicle.

“The threat to the public is over,” Matyas said.

Kalamazoo, with a population of about 75,000, is about 160 miles west of Detroit. It is home to Western Michigan University and the headquarters of popular craft beer maker Bell’s Brewery. The city also is known for the anonymously funded Kalamazoo Promise program, which has paid college tuition of students who graduate from Kalamazoo Public Schools for more than a decade.