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A Former Convict Goes On A Deadly Rampage In Grand Rapids, Michigan
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A Former Convict Goes on A Deadly Rampage In Grand Rapids, Michigan

Rodrick Shonte Dantzler, an ex-con with a lengthy prison record, went on a murderous rampage that left seven dead, several others injured and has shaken this peaceful community to its very core. The 34 year old man was released from prison in 2005 after serving time on an assault charge but has not been monitored since his release. He targeted the first of two ex-girlfriends, finding her with their twelve year old daughter and her parents. Dantlzer shot and killed all four in the house and then went on to find his next target.

He would find the second of the ex-girlfriends, along with her sister and her ten year old niece, also shooting and killing them. Some time during his rampage, Dantzler did call into the Grand Rapids police department, reporting that he had killed several people, but responding units found no one in the house. By the time they found Dantzler’s home empty, the police department had received several other calls about a “mad man”.

Dantzler shot a man in the face, road rage at being stuck in a traffic jam. That man, was struck in the nose but survived because of a titanium plate in his face. Police had caught up to Dantzler when he opened fire again, shooting randomly and hitting a female bystander. Police pursued the man, tailing his vehicle until he finally crashed. Thinking they had him cornered and caught, the police officers started to close in when Dantzler broke into a nearby house, holding the people inside hostage for several hours. Witnesses on the scene described him as still shooting as he came in the house.

Some time during the hostage situation, Dantzler had decided to give up and had asked about how to surrender. The police negotiation team was starting to work out a deal when they heard a single gun shot and Dantzler was dead.

The death toll stood at seven, including Dantzler’s twelve year old daughter, at least two others were injured in the rampage that lasted several hours. Reports have mentioned that Dantzler may have used cocaine and alcohol during his shooting spree but did not provide any further details.

As of yet, there is no apparent reason for the rampage. Grand Rapids police are still investigating but believe they will never discover the exact reason for this deadly day. They have been piecing together the troubled history of a man who has had over a dozen contacts with police, including two felony convictions during his youth. His violence against women has also been well documented, with his own mother filing for a personal protection order after he threatened to kill her. She kicked Dantzler out of her home when he was 18, no longer able to take his abuse and his continued threats. He threatened the mothers of two of his children in a similar fashion. He behaved well in prison, never earning any discipline reports and was released, seemingly to go out into the world, a changed man.


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