KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) – The preliminary hearing for Kalamazoo shooting suspect Jason Dalton has been delayed after he was dragged out of the courtroom.
Dalton appeared to make a sudden movement during testimony by shooting survivor Tiana Carruthers, causing her to scream. Moments before that, Dalton interrupted Carruthers, rambling about black plastic bags. Carruthers began sobbing on the witness stand at the sound of Dalton’s voice.
Dalton was led into the courtroom around 9:45 a.m. Friday with chains wrapped around his midsection and handcuffs around his wrists. He appeared to be shaking his head and talking to himself as he was seated for the hearing.
Friends and families of the victims were in the courtroom Friday. Loved ones of Rich and Tyler Smith wore “Smith strong” shirts as they filed into the room. The emotions were written all over their faces. Many wiped away tears during the proceeding.
Carruthers was the first to testify. In a video posted to her private Facebook page, Carruthers said this was her first encounter with Dalton since the Feb. 20 shootings.
“This is my first time actually seeing this man since what he did to me… I hope I don’t get too emotional,” she said.
With the help of a cane, she walked into the courtroom Friday morning.
Carruthers told the judge she was with her child and four other children walking to the park outside her apartment when a man in a silver SUV cut them off, almost hitting them. The 25-year-old mother said the encounter seemed unusual from the start.
“I seen him coming and um, I um saw a gun,” Carruthers said in a shaky voice she before Dalton interrupted her.