A Michigan man suspected of fatally shooting seven people, including a child, committed suicide late Thursday after a tense hostage standoff with police in the US Great Lakes city of Grand Rapids.
The two remaining hostages were released safely after the gunman, Rodrick Shonte Dantzler, shot himself dead as police were speaking to him over the telephone, Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk told reporters.
Dantzler, 34, who was armed with a handgun, had earlier released another hostage, a 53-year-old woman, after demanding a sports drink and cigarettes, according to police.
Dantzler had allegedly carried out a shooting rampage at two other homes in which he killed a 10-year-old child, five women and a man, according to police, who said he had a personal connection to the houses, without elaborating.
Police then pursued him through the city on a high-speed chase to a house where he had no apparent personal connection. There he abandoned his vehicle, fired three shots, which were answered by police, and then holed up inside.
In addition to those he killed, Dantzler also shot two people during his rampage, including a woman likely caught in crossfire and another person the suspect struck with his car, according to Belk.
Neither of them suffered from life-threatening injuries.
Family members said Dantzler had been released recently from prison, was very distraught, and may have been bipolar and off his medication, according to press reports.
CBS television affiliate WWMT said the suspect had a criminal record. In 2010, he reportedly pleaded guilty to assault and battery and served a prison sentence for about a year.
He also pleaded guilty 10 years earlier to assault with bodily harm less than murder and received a three to 10-year prison sentence.
He received a year's probation in 1997 for malicious destruction of property, and was charged in 1992 as a juvenile for breaking and entering.
A Facebook page registered under Dantzler's middle and last name indicated he was tech building engineer living in Grand Rapids.