LANSING - A 22-year-old man has been charged with murder accused of running over a firefighter and fleeing the scene.
Police say the driver, Grant Taylor, targeted the firefighter as the local hero was raising money for charity.
Now Dennis Rodeman's firehouse family is raising money for the wife and unborn baby he left behind.
Rodeman, 35, was fundraising for the MDA's "Fill the Boot" campaign Wednesday night in Lansing. Police say Taylor became angry with firefighters for holding up traffic. Words were exchanged and witnesses tell police Taylor circled back and struck Rodeman.
Taylor took off in his white truck but police tracked him down to his Lansing neighborhood where he was arrested.
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"Anytime we lose a firefighter in Lansing, Detroit, be it New York, any small town in America," said Capt. Stephen Babcock. "It affects everyone, not only the firefighting family, the citizens."
Especially for Rodeman's new wife, expecting their first child. She was coincidentally working as an emergency room nurse when her husband was brought into Sparrow Hospital Wednesday night.
Firefighters, who are also struggling with Rodeman's untimely death, are helping his wife with funeral arrangements and with getting through this difficulty time.
"We'll be there for her with her support system and putting it in place for her," said Babcock. "We're trying to give her space where she needs space, assistance where she needs assistance."
Outside the Lansing Fire Department Rodeman served for seven years. The flag flies at half-staff.
Rodeman was also a former Marine who fought in Fallujah.
His peers know fighting fires and fighting for our country come with risks, but they say they never expected this.
"Not doing the job, doing a fundraiser for a worthy charitable organization," Babcock said. "The world is changing."
The International Association of Fire Fighters and the city of Lansing have set up a GoFundMe account to help Rodeman's pregnant wife with future expenses. Funeral arrangements are pending. CLICK HERE to donate.
Bond was denied for Taylor and he's expected to be back in court later this month.