Some of you have probably heard the national news reports of the killings that occurred last week in Grand Rapids. We were blissfully unaware of all the drama that was going on in NE Grand Rapids that afternoon and evening. Evidently the the bodies of those that were murdered (the killer's wife, 12-year old daughter, wife's parents, former girlfriend, the former girlfriend's sister and her 10 year old daughter) were found around 3:30-4:00 in the afternoon. What followed was a manhunt/chase that took the killer and police downtown and only a few miles from our neighborhood. Probably around 8:00ish he broke into an apartment and took hostages until approximately 11:30 when he took his own life. We wondered that evening around suppertime why a helicopter kept circling so low around our area. We also wondered why when Russ and I went for a walk a little after 7:00pm a black fella on a bike came zooming past saying "Better be careful, -------- gonna shoot you." Russ insisted this is what the man said; I insisted that it didn't make any sense. In retrospect, Russ was correct and in fact, at that time spike strips to slow down or catch the killer were being set up on the very street we were walking on just a few miles down. Yikes!
Even though shootings/killings are going to be more common in a city like Grand Rapids vs the NW Iowa towns that we are used too, this was the largest single killing in GR history and a huge tragedy for the GR community. The neighborhoods where this all took place are not that different from our own, and one of the little girls that was killed isn't that much different from the two girls down the street that are over almost every day to play. Please pray for the families and the city of GR as they try to make sense of and heal from this tragedy. May it lead a few or even many to the true Comforter.