A Michigan firefighter, who was also a former Marine who fought in Iraq, was tragically killed while participating in an annual fundraising event. 35-year-old Dennis Rodeman was with his fellow Lansing Fire Department firefighters participating in the “Fill the Boot” roadside charity event when he was struck by a pickup truck, according to Fox News reports.
Now police are calling the incident a deliberate attack.
“The preliminary investigation ist hat he deliberately hit the firefighter,” said police captain Jim Kraus.
Witnesses say that Rodeman had exchanged words with the driver of the pickup truck moments before the incident. Authorities said that the driver of the vehicle then drove off, before turning around and swerving across slow-moving traffic and striking Rodeman.
Two other drivers were able to follow the vehicle and get a license plate number, which led investigators to a 22-year-old suspect, identified as Grant Taylor, who was subsequently arrested.
According to reports, Rodeman and his wife of only two months were expecting their first child.
Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero issued a statement, calling his death a tragedy.
“We join the men and women of Lansing Fire and all citizens of Lansing in expressing our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues for this heartbreaking loss. 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.”
Taylor has been charged with open murder, failing to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident and two counts of fleeing and eluding. He was denied bond during his arraignment.