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Police: Man who killed fundraising firefighter mad over traffic delay

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Dennis Rodeman 2LANSING, Mich. — Court records show a motorist accused of deliberately and fatally striking a firefighter told police he was angry with the firefighters collecting money for charity and slowing traffic.

The Lansing State Journal reports Monday that Grant Taylor told officers during an interview that he expressed his anger with firefighters last Wednesday on a Lansing street.

He added that their response to his frustrations didn’t satisfy him. He said he drove away, then turn around and hit Dennis Rodeman — a firefighter involved in the conversation.

The 35-year-old firefighter was participating in Fill the Boot, an annual fundraising campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and International Association of Firefighters. Rodeman, whose wife was pregnant with their first child, later died at a hospital.

The 22-year-old Taylor was charged Thursday with murder, failing to stop at the scene of an accident causing death and fleeing police.

During testimony that led to charges against Taylor, Lansing Detective Lee McCallister said firefighters told Taylor what they were doing and said they would appreciate any donations. Taylor told McCallister he became angrier when firefighters mocked him, according to the testimony.

“At no time during his conversation did (Taylor) express any remorse,” McCallister said. “Nor did he ask the condition of the victim.”

Taylor’s mother, Karen Taylor, petitioned Ingham County Probate Court twice in the past two years to involuntarily hospitalize him for mental health reasons, the newspaper reported, citing court records. Psychiatrists who evaluated Taylor diagnosed him with psychosis and bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.

A GoFundMe account for the firefighter’s family raised $125,000 in just four days, and is still collecting.

Visitation for Rodeman is Tuesday at a Lansing funeral home, and his funeral is Wednesday at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center in East Lansing.

 

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