Seven dead in Michigan shootings, suspect surrounded

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich,  (Reuters) – A gunman killed  seven people, including two children, in two homes in western  Michigan on Thursday and then led police on a high-speed chase  before taking three hostages, authorities said.
The suspect, identified as Rodrick Dantzler, released one  of the hostages after police surrounded a house in Grand Rapids  where he had sought refuge.
“He has released one of the hostages that he was holding.  There is a 53-year-old woman who lived at the house who has  been released,” Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk said.
“We are hoping to continue negotiating with him,” he added,  “and have him surrender.”
Earlier it was thought there were two adult hostages, a man  and woman, but another adult woman was hiding in the home and  was discovered, Belk said.
The standoff followed the discovery of the bodies of five  adults and two children in two separate locations in the city,  setting off a manhunt that involved police helicopters, state  police and local sheriff’s deputies.
Police spotted Dantzler in a car shortly after the grisly  discoveries and began a pursuit that led through downtown Grand  Rapids, police spokesman Sergeant Jon Wu said.
Dantzler fired at the officers several times during the  chase and police returned fire. Two bystanders were wounded  during the chase.
Investigators do not know the motive for the killings but  believe that the suspect had relationships with at least one  person at each location, Belk said.
The hostages were believed to be strangers to Dantzler.

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