This weekend marks ten year since the death of Robert Kozminski, the last Grand Rapids police officer killed in the line of duty. He was just 29 when he was shot and killed on July 8, 2007.
At 1:30 in the morning, a call came-in from a woman who said her husband, 45-year-old Jeffrey VanVels, was threatening to kill people inside their home on Emerald Street NE.
When Officer Kozminski arrived, he went to the back door. This is what Former GRPD Chief Harry Dolan had to say hours after the deadly shooting; "Early this morning, Police Officer Robert Kozminski was shot and killed after heroically responding to a families cry for help. Unknown to the officer at the time, the suspect was lying in wait in the garage. He ambushed officer Kozminski and shot him in the head through the glass portion of the closed garage door."
The community has since raised money to erect a police monument at Richmond Park. It honors all 15 Grand Rapids Police officers who have died in the line of duty.
The Kozminski family says it's nice to know that their son's sacrifice and the others, will never be forgotten.
The man who shot Officer Kozminski, Jeffrey VanVels, was convicted of first degree murder and is serving a life sentence without the chance of parole.
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