Michigan Shooting Rampage: 7 Dead; Police in Standoff With Suspect, Rodrick Shonte Dantzler

PHOTO: Grand Rapid Police are searching for Roderick Shonte Dantzler, the main suspect in a shooting spree which left seven dead.ABC News
An unidentified man reacts outside the scene of a killing in Grand Rapids, Mich. Police are searching for Roderick Shonte Dantzler, the main suspect in a shooting spree that left seven people dead at two locations.

Police in Grand Rapids, Mich., are in an armed hostage standoff with a suspect they believe is connected to seven killings at two other locations.

Late this evening, the suspect released a 53-year-old female hostage unharmed following negotiations with authorities, Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk said at a news conference.

"There was an agreement, he upheld his end," Belk said.

Authorities believed Rodrick Shonte Dantzler, 34, had been holding at least two people hostage, including the woman, in a house on Rickman Avenue in Grand Rapids, Belk said. Neither was believed to be injured.

"We believe, at this point, it was a random house that he ended up exiting his vehicle and ran to the first house that he came to," Belk said.

Police had been after Dantzler in connection with the earlier shootings at two locations that left at least seven people dead, including at least two children -- one in each location, Belk said.

"We don't have a motive, at this time," Grand Rapids Police Sgt. John Wu said, according to ABC News Radio. "We do know that the victims in the two separate addresses did have a personal relationship with Mr. Dantzler."

Belk later clarified that Dantzler appeared to have" prior relationships with at least one person at each location."

After announcing Dantzler as the suspect in the shootings, police chased a vehicle believed to belong to Dantzler along Interstate 96 in the north end of Grand Rapids, resulting in the car crashing in downtown Grand Rapids after shots were fired at police, Belk said.

The pursuit continued on foot until Dantzler entered the standoff house.

Police have been communicating with Dantzler since he entered the house, Belk said.

As the standoff continued, nearby residents were evacuated or told to remain inside their homes.

Witnesses said police exchanged gunfire with someone in the house, ABC News' Tom Campbell in Grand Rapids reported. Campbell said the person in the house opened fire on police vehicles with five to seven shots, and a woman in a red SUV was caught in the crossfire and suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

ABC News' Phil Dawson reported dozens of law enforcement officers were gathered at the scene.

Belk told ABC News affiliate WZZM that four bodies were found at one location in the 1,200 block of Brynell NE. Three other bodies were discovered at second location in the 2,000 block of Plainfield Ave. NE.

"This is a rare occurrence anywhere," Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell told The Associated Press. "A homicide like this is exceedingly rare. It's an awful situation and he's still at large."

Dantzler previously served jail time on a charge of felony assault less than murder, the AP reported.

He also previously has been accused of misdemeanor assault and battery, and domestic violence, WZZM reported.