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Update: GRPD News Conference Yesterday’s ‘Shooting Rampage’

Just a few moments ago. GRPD Chief Kevin Belk along with Grand Rapids Mayor George Hartwell answered questions during a press conference. (photo: WZZM-TV 13)

Chief Kevin Belk just got done addressing the media on everything that went down yesterday.  Apparently two woman who were shot, were ex-girlfriend’s of the suspect and one of the children who were murdered was his daughter.

A deeply emotional Chief Belk of the Grand Rapids Police Dept. went on to say that 34-year-old Rodrick Shonte Dantzler was consuming cocaine and alcohol during the entire event yesterday.  When one reporter asked Belk about how safe this city is, speaking in regards to the Forth of July shooting and then the situation yesterday.  A rather upset Mayor George Hartwell stepped-in to answer that question.  His reply,

“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!”

Mayor Hartwell went on to praise local and state authorities for their relentless pursuit of a gunman who killed seven people and for their negotiating skill that helped keep three hostages alive.

We have been receiving phone calls and emails as to why some GRPD cruisers have blue wrapping covering the overhead lightbars.  When I spoke to the GRPD over the phone, they said,

“It is to signify to the public that those police vehicles are out of service as the police cars that were damaged yesterday are being shuttled around town for repair.  But the only significance for the lightbars being covered-up is to let the public know that those vehicles are not in service at this time.”

Something we also learned from the GRPD press conference is that the candle light vigil that is planned for 8:30 tonight at the Gerald R. Ford Museum has been expanded to Ah-Nab-Awen park to help accommodate the crowd.  The museum has also decided to open up the parking lot for free for this event.

Another event that was mentioned by GRPD Chief Belk, is a community meeting Wednesday at 7pm at the Second Congressional Church off Plainfield near where the stand-off incident took place.

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