The manhunt for Dantzler began after four people were found dead in one Grand Rapids home and three were found in another across town.
"It's an awful situation, and he's still at large," Mayor George Heartwell said. He did not know any motive or Dantzler's relationship to any of the victims.
At one point during the chase, Dantzler crossed a grass median on the interstate and drove the wrong way down the highway while more than a dozen police cars pursued him. The highway remained closed hours later.
Belk said two other people were shot when Dantzler fired at police during the chase but neither suffered life-threatening injuries. Some of the gunshots struck the windshield of a police cruiser in downtown Grand Rapids, but no officers were injured.
A spokesman for the state prison system, Russ Marlan, said records show that Dantzler was discharged from prison in 2005 after serving time for assault less than murder. He has not been under state supervision since then, Marlan said.
Neighbors said police converged on Dantzler's home and removed two dogs after the shootings a few miles away.
Sonia Bergers said Dantzler lived in the home with a woman she assumed was his wife and their daughter, a girl who appeared to be about 10.
Lisa Schenden lives with her husband and their children, ages 11 and 8, two blocks from the home where four people were killed. Schenden said the homeowners are a couple whose daughter has a daughter with Dantzler.
Schenden said she had not heard the shooting but did see Dantzler and his daughter drive up to the house earlier in the day.