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Prosecutor, GRPD release Dantzler letters, video | News

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Prosecutor, GRPD release Dantzler letters, video
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UPDATE: WZZM 13's Sarah Sell shares some of the police dashcam video from the chase with Rodrick Dantzler in the attached video report.

GRAND RAPIDS - UPDATE - The Grand Rapids Police and Kent County Prosecutor have released several hours of dashcam video, 911 audio recordings, and several pages of documents in the investigation of the mass shootings in Grand Rapids that left seven people dead on July 7, 2011.

Rodrick Dantzler killed seven people, then killed himself after a long, high-speed chase and tense hostage standoff in early July.

Tuesday, under the Freedom of Information Act, Police Chief Kevin Belk released the documentation to the public.  Belk said that the investigation revealed that Dantzler did act alone and that the police response was legal and justified.

Kent County Prosecutor William Forsythe revealed that Dantzler wrote a letter to his mother, blaming his mother-in-law for his marital problems. Below is a transcription of that handwritten letter:

"Mama, I know you gonna b sad and disappointed, but I'm tired of living with these demons in my head. I tried getting help but the medicine didn't help! It seems like everyone that loves me walk out of my life. I never wanted a bad relationship with my kids, but that turned out bad. If hell is anything like what I deal with on a regular basis, then I'll be fine. Maybe God will understand and have mercy on my soul...

Take Cakes I always loved her, I always admired her strength! Tell big B I never had a pops, but after meeting him, I saw his big heart was pure! He has his weakness but who don't? Bob, u r the only man that mama ever was with that I have love 4. 2 all my real friends you know who u r...

I can't start over-- mentally I'm so depressed I can't hold my head up high. On the outside I was strong, but the inside is weak. Jenny, mama has always tried 2 butt in on our relationship. She made it hard 4 Jenny 2 develop into a woman. 13 1/2 years of marriage (of being 2gether) and she pretty much talked her into leaving me! But when her husband cheated on her, she was quick 2 take him back! I don't have anything nice 2 say about her! I gonna take her with me!!!

Forsythe says Dantzler did not have any evident reasons for killing his own daughter or the others during his rampage.

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids Police Department commanders and the Kent County Prosecutor Tuesday will release their findings in the mass murders committed by Rodrick Dantzler -- including hours of police video taken during their chase of the parolee.

On July 7, Dantzler killed seven people -- including his estranged wife, daughter, ex-girlfriend, and their relatives.  He shot two more people -- who survived -- and led police on a chase through the city of Grand Rapids before crashing on I-96.  Dantzler then fled to a home near the freeway west of Plainfield Avenue SW, where he took hostages.  The three hostages were eventually freed, but Dantzler took his own life.

On Tuesday, Prosecutor William Forsyth is expected to outline his 12-13 page opinion on the shootings, and police will release approximately two hours of video taken from police dashboard cameras during the chase.  Investigators will also release 911 recordings from the day of the shootings.

WZZM 13 will have a crew at the 10 a.m. news conference on Tuesday.  We will have coverage of the conference online at this link and on WZZM 13 News at Noon.

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