Michigan man who killed 7, self 'just lost it'


He told his friend Willie Cunningham that he was upset with his estranged wife, Jennifer Heeren-Dantzler, 29, because she had taken his 12-year-old daughter for three days and not returned her.

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — An ex-convict who killed seven people in July before taking his own life in a Grand Rapids shooting spree had pledged in a suicide note to take his mother-in-law "with me."

Dantzler's suicide note "obviously indicated his frustration" with his estranged wife and her parents, Belk said. "Why he continues his rampage throughout the day . . . I don't think we'll ever know."

Dantzler shot at four police officers July 7 as he led them on a 12-minute chase through city streets and nearby highways, a prosecutor's report said. He wounded two people in downtown Grand Rapids during the chase and took three people hostage in a four-hour standoff. He released one before killing himself.

In a suicide note left for his mother, he complained, "it seems like everyone that loves me walk (sic) out of my life."

Dantzler blamed his mother-in-law for talking Heeren-Dantzler into leaving him, writing, "I dont (sic) have anything nice 2 say about her! I gonna take her with me!!!"

"It would appear that he was simply a very angry man,"

Dantzler previously dated Kimberlee Ann Emkens, 23. He also killed her sister, Amanda Renee Emkens, 27, and her niece, Marissa Lynn Emkens, 10.

Dantzler had a criminal record as far back as 1992, when he was charged as a juvenile with breaking and entering and car theft. That was followed over the next eight years by charges of trespassing, domestic violence, destruction of property, larceny and assault.

He couldn't legally own a firearm because of his criminal record but used a stolen .40-caliber handgun in the shootings.

He told Cunningham he'd killed his father-in-law first and then his mother-in-law, estranged wife and their daughter. He also said he'd killed someone else but didn't mention he'd killed seven people in all.

This photo provided by the Grand Rapids police via WOOD-TV shows Rodrick Dantzler, 34, an ex-convict who shot and killed seven people and wounded two others before fatally shooting himself in Grand Rapid, Mich., on July 7, 2011. Police planned to release audio and video recordings in the case on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Grand Rapids Police via WOOD-TV)
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