A gunman opened fire in two homes in the state of Michigan today, killing seven people before leading police on a high-speed chase through downtown Grand Rapids and later taking three hostages in a standoff that ended when he committed suicide, authorities said.
The hostages were released unharmed, said Police Chief Kevin Belk.
The standoff began after dozens of officers with guns drawn had cordoned off a neighborhood near a small lake in the northern part of the city and shut down a nearby interstate highway. With the man surrounded, state police warned some residents to stay in their homes and evacuated others.
Authorities did not have a motive for the suspect, 34-year-old Rodrick Shonte Dantzler, or disclose his exact relationship with the victims.
The manhunt for Dantzler began after four people were found dead in one home and three were found in another across town. Two of the dead were children.
The names of the victims were not immediately released. Autopsies were scheduled for tomorrow.
“We believe there were prior relationships with at least one person at each location, so we think there were some difficulties there,” Belk said.
Records show Dantzler was released from state prison in 2005 after serving time for assault less than murder. A spokesman for the prison system said he had not been under state supervision since then.