US & Canada

Michigan shootings suspect kills himself, say police

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Media captionPeople gathered at the scene where three people were found dead

A man suspected of shooting dead seven people in the US state of Michigan has killed himself, but two hostages he had taken are safe, police say.

The death of the man named as Rodrick Shonte Dantzler, 34, ended a dramatic eight-hour manhunt in Grand Rapids.

Those killed - five adults and two children - include his daughter and a former girlfriend, police say.

Dantzler led police on a high-speed chase through Grand Rapids before taking hostages in an apartment.

Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk said he was disappointed in the outcome of the standoff.

"At the time the incident occurred, he was talking about coming out, giving himself up," Mr Belk said. "Obviously, he decided at the last moment to fire the gun."

'No sense'

The hunt began after police found four people dead in one home and three others in another across the city.

Image caption Police launched a manhunt for Rodrick Shonte Dantzler following the killings

There followed a high-speed chase across the city, in which Dantzler was pursued by police in cars and helicopters. Shots were fired during the pursuit and two bystanders were lightly wounded.

Dantzler abandoned his car after crashing it into a motorway ditch and then entered a nearby random home, taking hostage three people he apparently did not know. He later freed a 53-year-old woman but was still holding two people when he shot himself.

A resident who lives opposite one of the homes where the fatal shootings happened said she had seen the suspect at the ranch house where a couple lived with two grown-up daughters.

Sandra Powney said she knew nothing of the shootings until police converged on the cul-de-sac in the afternoon.

"For a while we couldn't come outside," she said. "They didn't know if there was someone still inside the house."

Police Chief Belk praised police officers and said it was a "difficult time for our community".

"It makes no sense to try to rationalise it what the motives were," he said. "You just cannot come up with a logical reason why someone takes seven peoples' lives".

Michigan state official Russ Marlan said records showed that Mr Dantzler was released from prison in 2005 after serving time for assault. He has not been under state supervision since then.