July 8, 2011A man suspected of killing seven people in Grand Rapids, Mich. killed himself
by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after an eight-hour manhunt and an
armed hostage standoff with police officers, according to police.
Rodrick Shonte Dantzler, 34, had been holding three people hostage on
Thursday night in a house on Rickman Avenue in Grand Rapids, according to Police
Chief Kevin Belk.
“The suspect chose to put the gun to his head and fired one shot, taking his
life,” Belk said in a news conference after the standoff ended.
None of the hostages were injured in the incident. Late Thursday evening, the
suspect released a 53-year-old female hostage unharmed following negotiations
with authorities, Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk said at a news
The eight-hour manhunt began at 3 p.m. Thursday afternoon, after the
discovery of two murder scenes in two separate homes in Grand Rapids, where at
least seven people died, including at least two children — one in each
location, Belk said.
Dantzler appeared to have “prior relationships with at least one person at
each location,” according to Belk.
After announcing Dantzler as the suspect in the shootings, police chased a
vehicle believed to belong to Dantzler along Interstate 96 in the north end of
Grand Rapids, resulting in the car crashing in downtown Grand Rapids after shots
were fired at police, Belk said.
During the chase Belk says the suspect shot two other people, though they did
not suffer life-threatening injuries.
At one point Dantzler abandoned his vehicle and ran up the highway. The
pursuit continued on foot until Dantzler entered the standoff house.
“We believe, at this point, it was a random house that he ended up exiting
his vehicle and ran to the first house that he came to,” Belk said on Thursday
night before the hostage situation ended.
As police negotiated with Dantzler it was apparent that he was agitated, and
while they were telling him how to give himself up, he shot and killed himself,
according to ABC News affiliate WZZM.
“The victims were in a back corner of the house. We had officers in the house
… we were talking to him when the incident occurred. He had threatened people,
asked officers to shoot him. He was talking about giving himself up, and at the
last moment decided to take his own life,” Balk said.
“We had medical personnel staging close to the scene, they were brought in
immediately … [they confirmed] that he had died at the scene,” Balk said.
Witnesses said police exchanged gunfire with someone in the house, ABC News’
Tom Campbell in Grand Rapids reported. Campbell said the person in the house
opened fire on police vehicles with five to seven shots, and a woman in a red
SUV was caught in the crossfire and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
ABC News’ Phil Dawson reported dozens of law enforcement officers were
gathered at the scene.
Belk told WZZM that four bodies were found at one location in the 1,200 block
of Brynell NE. Three other bodies were discovered at second location in the
2,000 block of Plainfield Ave. NE.
“This is a rare occurrence anywhere,” Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell
told The Associated Press. “A homicide like this is exceedingly rare. It’s an
awful situation and he’s still at large.”
Dantzler previously served jail time on a charge of felony assault less than
murder, the AP reported.
He also previously has been accused of misdemeanor assault and battery, and
domestic violence, WZZM reported.
Each letter of the first name rules 9 years of life. Ages 27 to 36 are ruled by the fourth letter of the name.
So from ages twenty-seven to thirty-six he has the number 18 going on.
18 = Surreal. Like a bad dream. Horrific.