KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WLS) --Uber says no background check could predict Michigan murder spree
The Uber driver suspected of killing six people in a series of random shootings in Michigan was a good driver with high passenger ratings, according to his company - and they will not change security practices as a result of the multiple murders.
No level of criminal background check on Jason Dalton could have predicted-or prevented his shooting spree in Kalamazoo on Saturday night, Uber says.
Despite the carnage, Uber will not change its security background checks on drivers or install electronic panic buttons in vehicles. Company officials say people have access to 911 on their cell phones and a panic button to alert Uber dispatchers would not be able to compete with 911.
Dalton's background check was approved four weeks ago today, on Jan. 25. Since then, he accumulated more than 100 rides and achieved a good rating of 4.73 out of 5.0 on the passenger ranking scale.
Uber executives say they are heartbroken, but insistent that nothing turned up in Dalton's background check that would have raised a flag.
"We believe in the screening process that we have, focusing on criminal history and checks, combined with the technology of the app" said Uber's chief security officer Joe Sullivan in a conference call Monday with reporters.
Sullivan says the company will not change driver security screening, including the addition of fingerprint checks which Uber says are unnecessary.
Currently, before someone becomes a driver with Uber, they provide a social security number, driver's license, home address and the usual personal information.
Their criminal history is checked at the county and federal level for arrests and convictions. Security officials admit that such a check is not without flaws, but that in this case Dalton had no history so nothing was missed.
Uber does have a no-gun policy for its drivers and passengers that Mr. Dalton is charged with violating so that he could carry out a killing spree.
Numerous handguns and long guns were seized from Dalton's home. But there was no indication that he was prohibited from owning the weapons, said Donald Dawkins, a Detroit-based spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which was assisting police.
Uber has a no gun policy for both passengers and drivers, a policy that it seems would be as hard to enforce as it would be to predict when a driver might come unhinged. Uber says on Saturday they did receive several passenger calls about erratic driving from Dalton and a 911 call from one of them. But, the driver managed to shoot and kill people at three different crime scenes before being caught.