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Grand Rapids Police Reveal Details, Identify Victims of Thursday’s Murders

(flickr, lincolnblues)

The Grand Rapids Police held a press conference this morning to address yesterday’s tragic events.

Police Chief Kevin Belk identified victims as Amanda Emkens, 27, who had a relationship with Dantzler, Marisa Emkens, 10, Amanda’s daughter, and Kimberlee Emkens, Amanda’s sister. These victims were found at 2046 Plainfield Avenue NE on Thursday afternoon.

Belk said, at Brynell Court, victims were Jennifer Heeren, 29, who had a relationship with Dantzler, her daughter with Dantzler,  Kamrie Dantzler, 12, and Jennifer’s Heeren’s parents, Thomas and Rebecca Heeren.

Chief Belk also stated that he fully believes that this was premeditated and that Dantzler “went out hunting people”.

It was also revealed that the woman shot downtown at the intersection of Division and Fulton was someone who was acquainted with Dantzler.

A deeply emotional Chief Belk went on to say that 34-year-old Rodrick Shonte Dantzler was using cocaine and consuming alcohol during the entire event yesterday.  When one reporter asked Belk about how safe this city is, referencing the shooting earlier this week during the Fourth of July festivities downtown and Thursday’s events. Mayor George Hartwell, stated that he felt that the question was inappropriate and replied,

Grand Rapids is the same strong, dynamic community that it was last week. I don’t think that it has changed Grand Rapids in any way!

A candlelight vigil has been scheduled for tonight at 8:30p.m. The public is encouraged to attend, and the parking lot of the Gerald R. Ford Museum will be open for parking.

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