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Grand Rapids police search for suspect in multi-homicides

State Police officers draw weapons on I-96 near where the suspect is holding out.
Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
State Police officers draw weapons on I-96 near where the suspect is holding out.

Update 11:16

There are reports that another person has been hiding in the home where the suspect and hostage are. One hostage was released, but now there could still be two hostages inside with Dantzler.

Update 10:54

A Kent County Sheriff Officer confirms one hostage, a 53-year-old woman, has been released and is reportedly safe. There is still one hostage still inside with the suspect.

Update 10:13 p.m.

Police have located the suspected gunman in Grand Rapids and are negotiating with him.

From Reuters:

The bodies of seven apparent shooting victims were found at two different locations in Grand Rapids on Thursday, setting off a manhunt for suspected gunman Rodrick Dantzler with police helicopters, state police and sheriff's deputies. The suspect later invaded a house in northeast Grand Rapids and apparently took two hostages. Police have set up a perimeter and are negotiating with him, Grand Rapids police spokesman Sergeant Jon Wu said. Wu said the two hostages are believed to be strangers to Dantzler, and Michigan State Police said they have provided a helicopter and are assisting Grand Rapids police.

Reuters reports that police pursued Dantzler through downtown Grand Rapids as Dantzler and police exchanged fire. A woman bystander was shot in the arm. Her wounds are not life-threatening.

Mayor George Heartwell was quoted as saying, "This is so uncharacteristic of Grand Rapids. We are all stunned about it."

5:30 p.m.

Police in Grand Rapids are looking for a man they say shot seven people to death this afternoon.  Police Chief Kevin Balk told Grand Rapids media outlets four adults were shot to death at a home in NE Grand Rapids, and two adults and a child were shot to death at a separate residence.  

Grand Rapids television station is reporting there may be more deaths at a third home.   Police say the suspect in the shootings is Rodrick Shonte Dantzler. He’s believed  to be armed and extremely dangerous. 

They say he may be driving a tan 2003 Lincoln Town car.

Mark Brush was the station's Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
Vincent Duffy has been news director at Michigan Public since May 2007.
Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.