GRAND RAPIDS (AP) – An ex-convict was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday for providing a gun that was used in the deaths of seven people in western Michigan in 2011.
No one has been charged with the deaths because the gunman, Rodrick Dantzler, took his own life during a standoff with Grand Rapids police. Federal authorities instead have pursued people who were connected to the firearm used by the killer.
Dantzler’s victims included his estranged wife and their 12-year-old daughter.
“This was a tragedy that was entirely avoidable. Selling a semi-automatic pistol to Dantzler was like lighting a match to a powder keg,” said U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles.
“It is our hope that this community and the victims’ family members find some measure of solace and closure from that effort and this outcome,” Miles said in a written statement.
Defense attorney Frank Stanley said Allen didn’t know what Dantzler would do with the gun after he sold it to him. But both men were prohibited from possessing a firearm because they had felony records.
U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney said it was known that Dantzler was dangerous, adding that the “wreckage of Mr. Allen’s actions is unspeakable.”
In October, Joseph Krul, another ex-convict who had the gun before Allen, was sentenced to five years in prison.
“I do admit that I made a horrible choice which has affected many people, and I pray for forgiveness every day,” Allen said in a letter to the judge.
In a court filing, prosecutors said Allen knew he was in hot water as soon as he heard about the shootings, which occurred in July 2011, and subsequently threatened to kill people who were cooperating with the government.
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