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Regional & National

Suspect in deadly Michigan shooting spree commits suicide; daughter among victims

July 8th, 2011 7:28 am by Staff Report

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Hours after the shooting stopped, a car chase ended and a gunman wanted for killing seven people took three hostages, Michigan authorities still hoped that the suspect might surrender without another death.

Police in Grand Rapids tried to talk an agitated Rodrick Shonte Dantzler into giving up late Thursday. They said his thoughts seemed to swing between surrender and asking officers to shoot him.

"He was talking about coming out, giving himself up," Police Chief Kevin Belk said. "He decided at the last moment to fire the gun."

The 34-year-old ex-convict from Grand Rapids killed himself with a single shot to the head, ending the standoff with his hostages unharmed. But authorities say Dantzler left behind a pair of bloody crime scenes — the result of an unexplained rampage in which he killed his daughter, an ex-girlfriend and five others, including a second child who police couldn't immediately identify.

"It makes no sense to try to rationalize it, what the motives were," Belk said. "You just cannot come up with a logical reason why someone takes seven peoples' lives."

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