From Redditor /u/WhitePineBurning
Here in Grand Rapids, MI, there have been a few, but in July 2011 we had a really horrific event. I live on the same side of town where all of this took place; one of the houses is less than a mile away from where I live.
It started when Roderick Dantzler's wife left their abusive marriage and took their daughter with her to move back to her parents' home. Dantzler started shooting that day when he fired at a random guy in a road rage incident. The guy was wounded but lived.
He then went to his ex-wife's parents' home and took them all out: first her mother, then her father, then their young daughter, and finally her. He apparently wanted to inflict the most horror possible on her.
He then left that house and drove south on Plainfield Avenue to the home of an ex-girlfriend. There he shot and killed her, her sister, and her sister's daughter. Their mother wasn't home at the time.
By this point, he'd abandoned the town car he'd been driving and carjacked an SUV from a friend. He randomly came across a female friend - just a friend - heading south towards downtown. He started following her. By this time police had learned of the murders from Dantzler's mother. He had called her to tell her he'd killed his former wife.
Dantzler's friend had heard of the murders - everything in Grand Rapids stopped cold that afternoon - and she called the police in a panic. She kept driving south towards downtown and police headquarters, which is located exactly in the center of the city at the main intersection. She made it that far, and police were both behind and in front of Dantzler. He made a U-turn in the intersection. It was now 5:00 rush hour traffic, and he started firing. He fired at a pick-up in his way but missed the driver. He fired at the police trying to box him in. He fired at his friend, missing her son but seriously wounding her. Police rammed the SUV, and they exchanged gunfire. Dantzler managed to get around them and took off towards the freeway.
He'd blown out a tire by the time he got on US131 north out of town. Police were in pursuit. He bailed off 131 and started eastbound on I-96. He drove off the median on bare rims and continued EASTBOUND in the WESTBOUND lanes. Fortunately, the freeway traffic was minimal, and police had blocked a lot of on-ramps. He made it less than a mile before ditching the SUV off the outside shoulder and abandoning it. He climbed the fence and broke into a nearby home on Softwater Lake and took three hostages.
This house was less than a quarter mile from where he'd murdered his ex-wife and her family.
By 7:00 police had surrounded everything. City, county, and state police had roads and streets blocked off in all directions. Choppers flew overhead. I could watch them from my front porch, circling.
Dantzler demanded cocaine, cigarettes, and Gatorade. Police supplied him with the cigarettes and Gatorade.
The standoff continued for hours. One cop managed to get to an unlocked patio door. Dantzler knew it was over and shot himself in the head. It was around 11:30. The hostages were unharmed.
Because GR is a big, small town, nearly everyone I know had some connection to the killer or his victims. In my case, it was a co-worker. Dantzler had dated her cousin. The morning of the murders he drove up to the drive-thru at the Burger King where she worked and asked to speak with her. Fortunately she had the day off, and he drove away without leaving a message or asking where she was; instead, he went directly to where his ex-wife was.
Scary, scary day.