Police chief reflects on shooting anniversary | News
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - It's been almost one year since Roderick Dantzler went on a shooting rampage that local law enforcement and the community will never forget.
On July 7, 2011, Dantzler killed seven people in the city's worst ever mass murder. He later took his own life after a hostage standoff.
Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk says it was a stressful day for everyone involved because the entire community was at risk.
Belk recalls being called out of a meeting and told that two families had been murdered and the suspect was on the loose.
A short time later he received information of a police chase through downtown Grand Rapids. Dantzler had stolen a vehicle and was engaged in a shootout with police. Officers tried ramming his SUV while being shot at from close-range.
The chase would end along I-96, where Dantzler ran into a home and took three hostages. Eventually, one was set free.
Belk says when shots were heard from the home, the team went inside.
"That's when Officer Phil Nevins and his team ascended the stairs and a short gun battle with Roderick Dantzler took place," says Belk. "At that point we got him confined to a back room of house. And we determined that the hostages had not been harmed."
Dantzler eventually took his own life in that back bedroom. Chief Belk says Dantzler was a controlling man, who was full of hatred and seeking revenge against the women in his life.