US Marine and firefighter Dennis Rodeman was killed in an act of senseless violence
Dennis Rodeman served with the US Marines in Iraq and has been working for the Lansing Fire Department for over seven years. On Wednesday afternoon, he was struck by a pickup truck- intentionally, according to the Michigan police.
The 35-year-old was out with other firefighters collecting money as part of the annual fundraising campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
“This is a shocking and unthinkable tragedy. … Dennis was cut down in an instant, doing what he loved, what he believed in, what he believed in most: helping other people,” said Mayor Vig Bernero.
Before Rodeman was hit there was what the police call a traffic altercation.
“The suspect came by, was upset for whatever reason (and) circled back around” before hitting Rodeman, said police Captain Jim Kraus. “The preliminary investigation is that he deliberately hit the firefighter who was standing in the road, collecting for the charity.”
Rodeman had been standing in the center turning lane wearing a reflective vest.
The truck sped away from the scene but the police eventfully managed to catch up with the vehicle. The driver then jumped out of his car and ran away on foot. The police perused. Shortly thereafter, they caught the 22-year-old suspect whose name has not yet been released.
“[Rodeman] served his country with great pride, bravery and ability, having survived a tour of duty in Fallujah, Iraq, one of the most dangerous places in the world,” said Mayor Bernero. “It is beyond comprehension that this American hero lost his life on the streets of Lansing while collecting charitable contributions for children afflicted by muscular dystrophy.”
Only two months earlier, Rodeman married the love of his life. They were expecting their first child. The fire department has said it will do all it can to support the family.