KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) - The homicides of 81-year-old David Bouwman and his 80-year-old wife, Vivian, have left their Kentwood neighbors upset, nervous and wondering what to do.
At the base of a tree in front of the Bouwmans' home, someone placed flowered Monday.
Others in the neighborhood hope a candlelight vigil will send out a message to the person or people who police say broke into the Bouwmans' home sometime between Friday evening and Saturday morning, shot them to death, stole their Cadillac DeVille, and then set it ablaze.
Around the Bouwmans' neighborhood, Princeton Estates, subtle reactions to the crime could be seen Monday: Outdoor lights were left on and door locks waited to be changed.
Less subtle were the emotional reactions.
"Very, very scary," said neighbor Tammy Foster, who lives just a few blocks from where the Bouwmans were killed. "Very unnerving, unsettling. It's not something you expect to happen in your neighborhood."
The Bouwmans were a mirror image of many of Princeton Estates' older residents.
"My daughter's best friends are the 70-year-old couple across the street that leave her presents, and so to think that could happen to them out of the blue, or the safety of my children is very scary for us," said Foster.
The apparent randomness of the killings, as well as other less violent crimes like burglaries, larcenies and the arson of a neighborhood playground in November, has Foster upset and fed up.
"You shouldn't have to live in fear in your neighborhood and in your home," she said.
Foster would like to send a visual message that tells the kind of people who do these things that enough is enough.
A candlelight vigil has been planned for 7 p.m. Tuesday in Pinewood, the neighborhood city park. Foster also wants neighbors to surround Princeton Estates with luminaries made out of cut-out milk jugs and candles to show solidarity against the violence.
"And also to send a message to people outside the community that this isn't going to happen in our community any longer," Foster said. "We're going to watch out for one another. We're going to come together. We're going to bond , we're going to band, and also remember the victims.:
The luminaries would ring the outside of the Princeton Estates neighborhood along Kalamazoo Avenue SE on the west, 52nd Steet on the north, 60th Street to the south and Wing Avenue to the east.
Foster hopes residents in the 900 or so homes in Princeton Estates create similar luminaries to line the interior streets.
"This neighborhood is taking itself back, and saying no more here," she said.
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