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At the start of his hours-long rampage, Rodrick Shonte Dantzler tracked down his daughter and her mother and killed them, along with the mother’s own parents. He then went to a different house and killed another former girlfriend, plus her sister and 10-year-old niece.

Dantzler “went out hunting” his victims, Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk said. He said the gunman used cocaine and alcohol on the day of the slayings.

The 34-year-old former prison inmate began the spree Thursday afternoon before leading police on a high-speed chase through downtown Grand Rapids. He crashed his car and took several hostages in a stranger’s home, then killed himself with a shot to the head late that night.


Roller coaster closed after Iraq vet’s death

BUFFALO — A 208-foot-tall roller coaster in upstate New York remains closed as questions swirl about the death of an Iraq war veteran who lost both his legs to a roadside bomb and the decision to allow him on the ride.

Sgt. James Thomas Hackemer was ejected Friday from the Ride of Steel coaster at Darien Lake Theme Park Resort, located between Buffalo and Rochester.

Amusement park industry consultant Dennis Speigel said Sunday that a combination of rider responsibility and operator responsibility comes into play when determining who should ride certain attractions.

Sgt. Hackemer’s death remains under investigation, but Mr. Speigel says it appears to be a bad decision on both parts. Relatives have said they don’t hold the park responsible.

From wire dispatches and staff reports