A man who served 12 years in prison for the fatal shooting of his wife is now wanted by police in connection to the killings of three people on December 26 in Omaha, Nebraska.
John Dalton, 46, was convicted in 1999 of manslaughter in the death of his 22-year-old wife, Shannon Dalton, and was released from prison in 2010. Police are now calling him a person of interest after three people were fatally shot in a home. Dalton is related to at least one of the victims.
Police are still at the scene investigating and are also searching for Dalton, who also goes by the name JJ Dalton.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Three People Were Found Dead Tuesday of Gunshot Wounds to the Head After Survivor Called 911
Three people were found dead of gunshot wounds to the head after police responded to a 911 call at 3912 North 37th Street, the Omaha World-Herald reports. The person of interst, identified as John W. Dalton Jr, lives in a home nearby. He fled from the scene before police arrived.
The shooting was reported at 7:51 p.m.
According to police scanner audio obtained by Heavy through Broadcastify.com, a juvenile girl broke into a neighbor’s house and said someone “shot my family.” The neighbor called 911 and officers, fire and medical personnel rushed to the scene. The three victims were pronounced dead at the scene.
The caller told police that multiple shots had been fired.
According to the World-Herald, a man was seen outside the home screaming into his phone, “Is my sister dead?”
KMTV reports that a girl was heard yelling at police that her father shot her grandparents before leaving the area.
2. John Dalton, Is Believed to Be Driving a GMC Terrain or Chevy Tahoe & Is Considered to Be Armed & Dangerous
John Dalton is believed to be driving either a black 2015 GMC Terrain with Nebraska license plate UKB78 or a red 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe with Nebraska license plate VRD559, according to scanner reports. He is considered to be armed and dangerous, and dozens of officers, including speciality units and K9s, are involved in the search. Witnesses said on Twitter that roads are shut down and a police helicopter could be heard overhead.
The Omaha Police Department said on Twitter, “If (you) have info tell police on scene or contact Crime Stoppers.”
The search is ongoing on a frigid night in Omaha, with temperatures below zero.
3. Dalton Fatally Shot His Wife in 1998 While His Daughters Were in a Nearby Room & Then Fled to Nashville
Dalton fatally shot his wife, Shannon, in 1998 while his three young daughters were in a nearby room, according to archived reports in the Omaha World-Herald. His children were 6, 5, and 3 at the time of the shooting, which occurred on September 7, 1998, inside a home on Ruggles Street in Omaha.
He fled from the shooting in his wife’s car to Nashville, Tennessee, where he was taken into custody days later after a traffic stop. His wife’s body was found on the floor of the living room of their home.
Shannon Dalton’s mother told the World-Herald that her granddaughters saw John Dalton with a gun and heard the shots, but didn’t witness the actual shooting. The children were living with their paternal grandmother after the shooting, according to the newspaper. The prosecutor said the plea agreement, which spared Dalton a potential life sentence for murder, was made in order to spare the children from having to testify.
“Right now, I don’t think the children are old enough to understand, but they talk about it,” their grandmother, Floria Cullum, told the newspaper in 1999.
John Dalton’s public defender said that the couple was having “marital difficulties,” and Cullum told the newspaper that her daughter had planned to leave her husband. They had been married since 1993.
“She had made up her mind,” she said.
4. He Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter, Expressed Remorse for the Shooting & Was Sentenced to 20 to 30 Years in Prison
Dalton pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 1999 and was sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison. According to an archived report from the Omaha World-Herald, Douglas County District Judge Robert V. Burkhard told Dalton, he would have to serve at least 10 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole. His maximum sentence, with good behavior, would be 15 years. He was given credit for 428 days he served in jail prior to his sentencing.
“A human life was taken senselessly,” Burkhard told Dalton, adding that his daughters were also victims. “You have deprived them of their mother and your love and affection for some time.”
He expressed remorse during his sentencing hearing, according to the World-Herald.
“I wish I could go back and change that whole day around,” Dalton wrote in a letter to the judge. “I miss my wife so much.” He also told the judge he missed his children and wanted to be a father to them.
5. Dalton, Who Had a Previous Drug Conviction, Had His Parole Term End in 2013 After Being Released in December 2010
Dalton, who was previously convicted of a drug charge in the early 1990s, was released from prison in December 2010, according to online records from the Nebraska Department of Corrections. He was also convicted of use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony and possession of a deadly weapon by a felon in the same 1998 case.
He was discharged from his parole term on June 28, 2013.