By Dean Vaglia
Leader Staff Writer
Dennis Kirby Kendrick, 54-year-old Oxford Township resident, was killed outside his home by a neighbor on the morning of Wednesday, April 20.
Kendrick was shot by 36-year-old Abbey Ridge Apartment Homes neighbor Marcus Anthony Nathan around 3:30 a.m. while getting ready for work. Nathan, who did not know Kendrick, shot Kendrick in his car under the suspicion Kendrick sent him a threatening text message. Nathan wandered around the apartment complex looking for the message’s sender and called 911 after the shooting. Nathan was arraigned in the 52-3 District Court on Friday, April 22 for the murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
“This completely unnecessary and very tragic death should have never happened,” Michael Bouchard, Oakland County Sheriff, said in a statement. “The suspect randomly concluded a completely innocent man had threatened him and then murdered him. It is unjustifiable in any terms … The tragedy of the situation is magnified by the fact that the victim leaves a young son, a student of Oxford High School, who has already gone through enough trauma for a lifetime. It is appropriate the shooter should be held fully accountable.”
Dennis was a single father, cancer survivor and Army veteran who centered his life around 15-year-old son Kamari, a sophomore and varsity lacrosse player at Oxford High School.
“He was just a highly devoted father,” Lori Hamilton, Dennis’ sister, said. “Everything he did revolved around Kamari.”
Dennis worked the morning shifts at American Axle in Auburn Hills so he could be home with Kamari in the evening. The two were close with Dennis planning many things for Kamari and the two doing various activities together. They were scheduled to get scuba diving lessons in a few weeks. Dennis also stayed along as Kamari and several friends went to United States Naval Sea Cadet training in Florida last December.
“My brother was very involved with everything that Kamari did, so he was on a personal relationship with all of Kamari’s teachers as well,” Hamilton said. “My brother loved to talk — especially about Kamari — so people knew him.”
Kamari still lives in Oxford and plans to finish out the rest of the school year at OHS. He is receiving support from his mother and members of Dennis’ family. Kamari plans on joining the Navy after graduating high school.
A GoFundMe to help cover Kamari’s future expenses can be found at https://gofund.me/e1e822b6. Those wishing to help beyond donating money can reach out to Oxford High School counseling.
By Dean Vaglia