Friday, July 8, 2011


A man believed to be the father of one of the victims collapses after learning of the shooting
A man believed to be the father of one of the victims collapses after learning of the shooting

A man suspected of killing seven people in a bloody rampage ended a hostage standoff with police late on Thursday by shooting himself in the head, Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk said.

The suspect, Rodrick Shonte Dantzler, had engaged in a gun battle with police in downtown Grand Rapids and a high speed chase before taking three people hostage. One hostage was released earlier and the other two were safe, Belk said.

The suspect had said he wanted to give himself up, but while he was talking with negotiators about how he could surrender, "we heard a gunshot and it turned out to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head," Belk said.

"The hostages are outside. They are safe. The suspect is dead at the scene," he said.

Belk said police were confident that Dantzler was the suspect in all seven murders and had acted alone.

Police suspect Dantzler shot dead five adults and two children at two different locations, setting off a police manhunt with helicopters, state police and sheriff's deputies. Two bystanders were wounded during the chase.

The suspect later drove the wrong way on Interstate 96, slammed into a ditch and fled on foot into a neighborhood in northeast Grand Rapids where he pressed his way into a house and took the hostages, Belk said.

Shots were fired as he entered the house, but the house occupants were not injured, Belk told reporters. He released a 53-year-old woman who lived at the house. But a man and woman remained held and were in a tight confined area at the back of the house during the hostage situation, he said.

Investigators do not know the motive for the shootings, but believe that one of the victims was his daughter and one was an ex-girlfriend, Belk said.

"You just cannot come up with a logical reason why someone would take seven people's lives for what seems to be just a totally senseless purpose," Belk said.

The hostages were believed to be strangers to Dantzler. READ MORE

1 comment:

  1. I suspect the deck was stacked against him for his life to have this track record. I'm not saying he's a victim. But, yeah, he probably was victimized on some level by our society, he's a black man in Michigan. Not a lot of opportunity but a lot of hopelessness, rage and desperation to go around. Of course, this doesn't excuse anything, just a commentary on how the ills of our culture eventually end in tragedy, one way or another.