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Police say Genesee St. homicide result of past feud

Rochester, N.Y. -- Nothing can describe a father's heartache. It could only be seen on the face of Marvin Hodrick, the father of 18-year old Kemari Hodrick.

Kemari was shot and killed on Genesee Street Monday.

My son didn't deserve to die like that, Marvin Hodrick said.  I was just dropping my son off to probation and I come back five hours later and he's dead?  C'mon man, this ain't right. This ain't justice for my son.

Police arrested 18-year-old Dante Rankin late Tuesday night.

Police say Rankin used a handgun to kill Hodrick and shot at him from the front passenger seat of the car he was riding in.

But so far police say they arent pursuing other suspects involved at this time.

Police say Rankin and Hodrick knew each other and that this shooting may have been the result of a past feud.

As you know there are a number of incidents that occur in the city where minor slights may occur and violence responses result, Rochester Police Chief Jim Sheppard said.

Despite the past, Hodrick said his son was trying to get back on track.

He told me, dad I'm trying to get a job and do what I have to do for my kids, Marvin said.

Kemari had two infants, under one years old.

Kemaris father said he loved to box.

He showed potential with his coach, Don Simkin with the Rochester of St. Martin U-Prep Boxing Club.

Its a program designed to give young men another outlet.

To Simkin, the young men were like his children.

Simkin said he worked with Kemari for most of the year but lost touch last summer.

It happens every now and then, you try to get across to people that there are certain ways you got to live, Simkin said. You cheat on right and wrong, then you lose, he said holding back tears.

13WHAM also spoke with Dante Rankins mother.

She admits her son was involved in a gang three years ago, but she says the family sent him away to help him get his life together.

She says he did.

Rankin worked at McDonalds and was a member of the city school districts New Beginnings program.

New Beginnings is a program run by the Center for Youths Services that works with young males who have once been a part of the criminal justice system.

Kemari had a weapons charge from over the summer.

Rankin is expected back in court Friday.

The following is a statement from the city school district:

Dear Parents and Families,

I write to you with a heavy heart and urgent request.

Two days ago, an 18-year-old was shot and killed on Genesee Street across from Joseph C. Wilson Commencement Academy. Yesterday, police arrested another young man who is alleged to have been involved in the crime. Both are former students at District schools, who were later served by special instruction programs we offer for troubled youth.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the families, friends and school communities affected by these tragic events. But that is not the only reason my heart is heavy. These are the latest in a series of violent events this year, in which the victims and alleged perpetrators were current or former Rochester students.

As I often say, the Rochester City School District is ultimately responsible for the education of your children. But we cannot do it alone. Since I have become Superintendent, the community has been overwhelmingly generous in providing the help our District requests. But that is not enough.

We urgently need more support from parents and families to address the problem of youth violence, inside and outside our schools.

All of the school programs and support services our community offers cant replace the need for active and committed parents, or other adults in a parenting role. We need you to:

  • Teach children that violence is never acceptable as a means of settling conflict
  • Know who their friends are, including the friends they communicate with online. It is both acceptable and necessary for parents to monitor their childrens use of social media
  • Make sure that children attend school every day
  • Require them to treat teachers and other adults with respect, as you expect them to treat you
  • Encourage them to put forth their best effort in school, and to read every day

Children who do these things will succeed in school. I say that with absolute confidence because many of our students are already doing well. But too many are falling through the cracks, and falling prey to violence.

If you need help to make these things happen, ask for it. Our community is rich in resources to help families deal with any issue that keeps children from succeeding. Call 211, your childs school, your minister or another trusted adult. I assure you that people will be there to help you and your children.

Our District will provide whatever resources are needed to be sure that school is the safest place for your children to be, every day. We will provide the academic instruction and extra support they need to achieve. But I cannot take total responsibility for their safety or academic success. We need your helpand they do, too.


Bolgen Vargas
Superintendent of Schools

Alexis Arnold, 13WHAM-TV
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