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U.S. man ‘possessed through Uber app’ pleads guilty to murdering 6 strangers

Jason Dalton pleaded guilty to killing six people in-between picking up riders for Uber in February 2016

An Uber driver charged with killing six strangers in between picking up passengers pleaded guilty to murder in MI on Monday, just before attorneys were set to interview jurors for his trial.

The plea came as a surprise to the court because jury selection for Dalton's trial was about to get underway this week.

The 48-year-old father-of-two, who had worked as an insurance adjuster and had no previous criminal record before the shootings, was charged with six counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and eight firearms charges.

KALAMAZOO, MI - FEBRUARY 21: People gather and pray at Center Point Church following a mass shooting on February 21, 2016 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Prosecutors said no deal was offered for the guilty plea.

Four people were killed at a restaurant and two at a auto dealership in the shootings in the city of Kalamazoo.

"It's unusual for a person to plead guilty to first-degree pre-meditated murder because the outcome is mandatory", said Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting during a press conference.

Throughout the rest of the hearing, Dalton remained in a holding cell with two police escorts, following the hearing by video conference.

"I've thought about this quite a lot", he said to Lipsey.

But he was found competent to stand trial and enter a plea.

'I think he was influenced the last few days by his family... it was against my advice, ' Dalton's lawyer, Eusebio Solis, told reporters Monday.

Dalton was accused of driving from one location to the next, shooting people seemingly at random at three places.

Kalamazoo County prosecutor Jeff Getting told the AP "everybody wants to know" what drove Dalton to indiscriminately kill six bystanders who had the misfortune of being in Dalton's line of sight on that terrifying day.

"Dalton proceeded to tell us that he couldn't imagine when he had bought them all that he would use them in this manner", according to the report.

Dalton also apparently picked up multiple passengers over the day as an Uber driver.

Dalton's sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 5, Brower told NPR.

He told investigators the Uber app made him "like a puppet" and that it would "take over your whole body".