July 8, 2011

As I was ignorantly living through my day yesterday a tragedy was occurring just an hour away.

I had a beautiful day yesterday, it started difficult  (see yesterday’s post for the details), but I pulled through it better than ever and enjoyed some great time with my boys.  After settling them both in for the night, I turned on my DVR and selected SYTYCD, which had just finished recording.  I did not find my beloved show, I found the news broadcasting.  I was instantly upset and proceeded to fast forward through what was recorded, hoping some of my show would be found.  My insides turned to freezing when I saw the tag at the bottom of the screen: man kills seven in Grand Rapids.

It all started at 3:00pm yesterday.  After the murders there was a police chase spanning the city and an intense stand-off with three hostages.  When it was done seven people were murdered (3 at one house and 4 at another, both included an ex-girlfriend of the suspect), including two children.  One woman was stuck by a bullet in downtown Grand Rapids but was not seriously injured. The suspect led police onto the highways, at times going the wrong way.  He was in the process of surrendering when he turned the gun on himself and shot himself in the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.  A friend of Dantzler’s told channel 3 that this chain of events all started after he had a fight with his current girlfriend earlier in the day. Dantzler then apparently said he “would kill them all.”  Police Chief Belk says that of the two children killed, one of them was the suspect’s child.  Channel 3 dug into his past, they found at least four protection orders filed against him by women, including his own mother, Vicki Dantzler, who told a judge about her son in 1995, saying;

“Rodrick has a very explosive temper and will act violently without thinking. I’ve lived in fear of him hurting me or worse, forcing me to hurt him in order to protect myself.”

As many as 150 officers were involved in Thursday’s events, a number of them were shot at.  I feel so safe inside my little bubble, but so many horrific things happen all over the world everyday.  It was a reminder that we are extremely lucky to have all the men and women who protect us locally and abroad everyday.

My day started pretty terrible yesterday.  Yes, I was very caught up in my weight loss struggle, but I was able to start my day, end my day and start again today.

I can’t think of the lessons learned from this tragedy (although I hope there will be many), I keep thinking about those seven people who were just hanging in their home and are now no longer here.  I keep giving in to little moments of silence today, moments of thanks and moments of shock.

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