GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Federal court documents are shedding more light on the trail of the gun that Rodrick Dantzler used to kill seven people in Grand Rapids on July, 7, 2011.They indicate a West Michigan man may have been partly responsible for getting Dantzler the weapon.
Joseph Krul, 31, is now charged for having possession of that weapon before the shooting.
“The Dantzler incident was a long investigation,” said Jeffery Hertel, Grand Rapids Police Captain.
The investigation started after Dantzler shot and killed seven people, including members of the Herren family and his own daughter, Kamrie.
He also killed Kimberlee and Amanda Emkens and Amanda’s little girl, Marissa.Dantzler then drove through the streets of the Grand Rapids area, shooting at numerous people.He lead police on a lengthy high-speed chase, then crashed his car and took hostages before committing suicide.Although the man responsible for the killing spree was dead, there remained other questions surrounding where Dantzler got the gun.”The Question remained, ‘How he got a firearm? Why he had a firearm?’ because he is ineligible to have a firearm,” said Hertel.After months of close cooperation between the ATF, Grand Rapids Police and the US Attorney’s Office, the group discovered that the pistol was originally reported stolen from a homeowner in Kent County who legally owned the weapon.
New court documents indicate authorities believe Krul somehow had his hands on the stolen gun and was hanging onto the Glock Model 19, 9 mm semiautomatic pistol at some point starting in the summer of 2009 until the day Dantzler went on his shooting spree on July, 7, 2011.
Court documents indicate some of the evidence against Krul included an audio recording of an interview with him in July of 2011 and number of Facebook messages.
Authorities say Krul and Dantzler had friends in common and he played a big role in passing on the deadly weapon.”He is one of the series of people that we believe were instrumental in getting the gun to the suspect,” said Hertel.
Krul is charged with three counts. Those include being a felon in possession of a firearm, using controlled substances and possessing a stolen firearm.
Hertel says justice here could help those touched by the crime to continue to move forward.
“I think the community deserved a full investigation on this, in particular the family of the 7 victims,” said Hertel.
He emphasized the three organizations, including the ATF, GRPD and Attorney General’s Office will continue to work together to investigate the case.