Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ex-con Rodrick Dantzler Kills 7 Before Killing Himself

The Michigan madman who massacred seven people before offing himself "went out hunting people down," police said Friday.

Ex-con Rodrick Dantzler's victims included his 12-year-old daughter, a 10-year-old child, two ex-girlfriends, and three other people, Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk said.

Investigators still don't know what made Dantzler snap, but he was known to be a drinker and cocaine abuser.

Also, one of Dantzler's targets literally escaped death by a nose, local TV reported.

Pickup driver Robert Poore, who was shot during the chase for Dantzler, told cops the bullet ricocheted off a titanium plate that had been inserted in his nose during cancer treatment when he was a child. He suffered only minor injuries.

Dantzler was holding some strangers hostage when he ended the drama Thursday by putting a bullet through his own head.

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

The hostages were unharmed.

Belk said they were still trying to come to grips with the havoc that the 34-year-old gunman wrought.

"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."

Dantzler did time for assault and was released in 2005, records showed. He had been under state supervision since then.

The deadly chaos began early Thursday afternoon when cops got a 911 call from a man who claimed to have killed three people, Belk said.

When cops arrived at Dantzler's house, he was gone.

Moments later there was another 911 call, this time from a woman who said three members of her family had been slaughtered.

Then there was yet another call from a frantic person who said four people were shot at another location.

When cops finally tracked Dantzler down, he led them on a high-speed chase through the downtown Grand Rapids, spraying bullets at pursuing squad cars and wounding two bystanders in the process.

With more than a dozen police cars chasing him, Dantzler jumped the median on Interstate 96 and barreled down the wrong side of the road as harried motorists dodged his SUV, cops said.

"I look in my rearview mirror and see this big white SUV coming up behind me," said Carrie Colacchio. "The only way to get out of it was to push the gas pedal."

Dantzler eventually ditched the car and barged into a home with his gun drawn, cops said.

While dozens of cops surrounded the house, negotiators pleaded with Dantzler to let his captives go. And just before midnight, he let a 53-year-old woman go.

The two others were still in the house when Dantzler killed himself.

The dead were identified as Dantzler's daughter, Kamrie Heeren, her mother, Jennifer, 29, and the girl's grandparents, Thomas Heeren, 51, and Rebecca Heeren, 52.

Dantzler also killed another ex-girlfriend, Kimberlee Ann Emkens, 23, her sister, Amanda Renee Emkens, 27, and Amanda's 10-year-old daughter, Marissa Lynn Emkens.

- Source

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