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Grant Creek neighborhood honors exchange student

By Scott Zoltan, KECI Reporter, szoltan@keci.com
Published On: May 01 2014 11:19:58 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Missoula’s Grant Creek neighborhood, where Markus Kaarma allegedly shot German exchange student Darin Dede after Dede allegedly entered Kaarma’s garage, is rallying together to honor Dede.

Prosecutors say Kaarma baited would-be burglars.

NBC Montana visited the neighborhood on Thursday and many neighbors said they were shocked that the incident happened. Others told NBC Montana they felt uneasy that Kaarma had a bond set low enough to be released.

“I don't feel safe at all. I mean, my friends live up the street from him and they have to tell their kids to lock their doors when they get home from school, and that's sad,” said resident Madison Bell.

Bell was one of several neighbors handing out ribbons in the color of the German flag to passersby, and tying them to mailboxes and posts.

“It’s just a statement just to say that there’s a lot of people that loved him and that this neighborhood does not accept something happening like this. I grew up here riding my bike and wanted to show that we're a community,” said Bell.

On Thursday some neighbors told NBC Montana that they felt safe in the neighborhood, but they remain shocked that the incident occurred.

“This is a very quiet neighborhood and I feel that the shooter is probably so ashamed. I hope he is, about what he did, that he doesn't dare to get out of the house and be seen by his neighbor,” said resident Ursula Carpenter.

“I think it's a crying shame that an exchange student from Germany came over here and that's what happens, and just for the life of me I don't understand it,” said resident Ed Price.

On Friday night at 9 p.m., Dede’s friends and neighbors plan to hold a candlelight vigil at the Fort Missoula soccer field in Missoula.

It is also important to note that Kaarma has supporters. Some viewers on our Facebook page say Dede was allegedly trespassing in Kaarma’s residence, and, according to them, created the situation that led to the shooting.

You can read various comments on the story on our Facebook page by clicking here.