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Accused Kalamazoo gunman dragged from Michigan court after outburst

By Doug G. Ware
Accused Kalamazoo gunman dragged from Michigan court after outburst
Accused Kalamazoo gunman Jason Dalton was ordered Friday to stand trial for the murders of six people, who were shot dead in an attack Feb. 20. During Friday's hearing, Dalton had an outburst and was physically removed from the courtroom. Photo courtesy Kalamazoo County Jail

KALAMAZOO, Mich., May 20 (UPI) -- The man accused of shooting six people to death in Kalamazoo, Mich., during a random rampage earlier this year had to be physically removed from court Friday after an outburst.

Jason Dalton appeared before a judge Friday for the preliminary examination hearing, which also featured testimony from victims' relatives -- some of whom said it was a tremendously emotional day in the courtroom.

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After the hearing, the judge ordered Dalton to stand trial for the murders.

The outburst happened while a shooting victim was testifying on the stand. Dalton raised his voice and began rambling incoherently before security officers had to remove him from the courtroom.

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The outburst caused the woman on the stand, who was wounded during the attack, to cry uncontrollably. Dalton viewed the remainder of the hearing via video-conference from the jailhouse.

Video courtesy MLive

"It was a very, very, very hard day. Very stressful," relative Emily Smith said after the hearing adjourned. "It took a lot on the emotional toll. It's hard to sit in there and listen to every single thing that's going on.

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"It's hard to sit in there and listen to every single thing that's going on."

The mother and sister of two victims called Dalton an "evil coward" for the interruption.

Dalton, faces six counts of murder for the Feb. 20 rampage. Authorities say he committed the crimes while he was driving for Uber, an app-based rideshare service.

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Investigators also testified at Friday's hearing, during which they described the events of the shooting and Dalton's arrest.

Dalton is next scheduled to appear in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court, but a date has not yet been finalized.

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