Scoop: Coming Up on a New Episode of 20/20 on ABC - Friday, February 22, 2019
Jason Dalton, a former Uber driver, terrorized the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan, for eight horrific hours on Feb. 20, 2016, killing six people and seriously injuring two others. Now on the heels of Dalton being sentenced to life in prison without parole, "20/20" presents a two-hour documentary on his crime spree and puzzling explanation to police, featuring interviews with surviving victims, relatives of victims, law enforcement and others who crossed paths with him on that tragic day. ABC News' chief national correspondent Matt Gutman sits down for emotional interviews with Dalton's two surviving victims: Abbie Kopf, who miraculously survived after her heart stopped when she was shot in the head at age 14, and Tiana Carruthers, a young mother shot in her condominium complex while shielding children from the gunfire. Both Abbie and Tiana open up about their encounters with Dalton, injuries and life today. "20/20" airs Friday, Feb. 22 (9:00 - 11:00 p.m. EST), on ABC.
The documentary features police dashboard camera footage surveillance videos, 911 calls from witnesses and interviews with Vicki and Gene Kopf, Abbie's parents who describe the emotional moment they were saying goodbye to Abbie after her heart stopped, only to be shocked when it started to beat again; Lieutenant Chuck Christensen of Michigan State Police; Sergeant Kyle Gorham, Detective Bill Moorian and Detective Cory Ghiringhelli, who interrogated Dalton after he was arrested; Michigan State Trooper Cody Donnay, Officer Scott Brooks, Sergeant Scott Miller and former Sergeant Brian Boyer, from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety who responded to the shootings; Matt Mellen, a passenger who escaped a terrifying car ride with Dalton the day of the shootings; Jeff Getting and Jeff Williams, prosecutors on the case; Emily and Laurie Smith, relatives of victims Richard and Tyler Smith; Nate, Laura and Dave Hawthorne, relatives of victim Barbara Hawthorne; Chris Nye, husband of victim Mary Lou Nye and brother of victim Mary Jo Nye; Rob Reynolds, son of victim Dorothy "Judy" Brown; and Juliet Dragos, WZZM13 news anchor who covered the story.
Forty-eight-year-old Dalton shot eight people while picking up and dropping off Uber passengers in between the killings. Dalton's first victim was Tiana. He then killed Richard and Tyler at the Seelye Ford KIA dealership while Tyler's girlfriend was sitting in a nearby car, witnessing the murders. His final attack was in the parking lot of a local Cracker Barrel restaurant, where he killed Mary Lou, Mary Jo, Judy and Barbara, and severely injured Abbie. During Dalton's explosive interrogation, he claimed that the Uber app gained control over his mind and forced him to commit the crimes. Just as jury selection for his trial was beginning, Dalton pled guilty to six counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder and eight counts of felony use of a firearm.
The special on former Uber driver Jason Dalton's killing spree is part of "20/20"'s two-hour documentary programming, featuring brand-new interviews with key players in some of the biggest newsmaker stories in recent American history. The original eight-week, two-hour programming lineup has been extended to 15 weeks and will run through April 12. Since the two-hour documentaries premiered on Jan. 4, "20/20" has been Friday's No. 1 newsmagazine each week in all key demos: Total Viewers, Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54.
"20/20" is anchored by David Muir and Amy Robach. David Sloan is senior executive producer.