GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Rodrick Dantzler was involved in a standoff situation with police on Grand Rapids' northeast side. He had three hostages inside a home, but released one woman around 9:15 p.m. Two others were freed around 11 p.m. when Dantzler killed himself.
At least seven people were killed, including two children -- three at a home on Plainfield Avenue and four more at a Brynell Court home -- on Grand Rapids' northeast side on Thursday, police confirmed. Two were children.
Dantzler , 34, was armed with a handgun and considered dangerous, police said. He was thought to be driving a tan, four-door Lincoln Towncar with spinning rims -- but later spotted in a different vehicle that was involved in a police chase.
A relative of Dantzler said he was recently released from prison and very distraught.
He was convicted of assault with intent to do great bodily harm in 2000, records show, and a relative said he might be bipolar and off his medication.
He may be responsible for all seven deaths, investigators said.
The Plainfield scene
At the home in the 2000 block of Plainfield Avenue NE, officials kept pushing back the police tape Thursday evening. They treated the house as a crime scene.
The victims are all female, and one is likely a 10-year-old child, police said.
Earlier Thursday, people were gathering on the street and consoling each other. Many were emotional, and neighbors said "this isn't the type of neighborhood where this happens."
Someone in the area told police he saw a man that could be Dantzler at a Burger King about one block from the home around two hours after the incident. The man was reportedly acting strange going through the drive-thru, he said.
Previous to the discovery of the three Plainfield victims, officials arrived to a separate location in the 2000 block of Janes Avenue after a mother called 911 and said her son had telephoned her, saying he had just shot his estranged wife.
When investigators arrived, no one was at the Janes Avenue home, near Riverside Park.
In a third scene on the northeast side, more than 12 officers surrounded a house in the 1200 block of Brynell Court. Just before 5 p.m., police said at least four people were dead.
The victims are three females and one male, officials told 24 Hour News 8. One of those was a child, GRPD Chief Kevin Belk said Thursday evening.
A Grand Rapids police tactical unit was there, along with Michigan State Police and deputies from the Kent County Sheriff's Department.
Police had their guns drawn and told neighbors to get inside their homes. They pushed the media and others nearby quite a distance from the house. An ambulance was on scene, as well.
Officials eventually cleared the home and the SWAT team left.
Belk said these three scenes (above) seem to be related and the department is investigating them that way. However, the exact connections and ties to the suspect aren't known.
A neighbor reported seeing that tan Towncar on Brynell Court this morning. He said the flashy rims caught his attention. Watch his interview, along with several others, at left.
A shooting on Grandville Avenue, on Grand Rapids' southwest side has been reported. This is likely linked to the other incidents, but the victims involved here suffered only minor, nonlife-threatening injuries.
News 8 has multiple crews scattered throughout the city and will have more information as soon as possible.
Video of the scene near Brynell Court
In front of a festive downtown crowd at Rosa Parks Circle.
Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle crossed the center line, causing a head-on crash in Ada Township Friday night.
An observation survey was conducted by the Wayne State University Transportation Research Group.