Retired undersheriff surprised by spree killer's plea

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — On the night of the Kalamazoo shooting rampage nearly three years ago, Pali Matyas was the commanding officer on scene who broke news to the public that an indiscriminate killer was on the loose.

On Monday, he learned of killer Jason Dalton's guilty pleas like many others. Having retired since the shooting, he watched what was transpiring on TV.

"I was a tad bit surprised that the thing went this far and then at the last second he just pleads guilty and that was that," Matyas told 24 Hour News 8 in a phone interview Monday evening. "I was surprised."

Dalton pre-empted his own trial by pleading guilty a total of 16 felonies linked to the three shootings that killed Rich Smith, Tyler Smith, Judy Brown, Barbara Hawthorne, Mary Jo Nye and Mary Lou Nye and wounded Tiana Carruthers and Abbie Kopf on the night of Feb. 20, 2016.

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