Kirkwood Remember Those Lost In Mass Shooting 5-Years Ago

KIRKWOOD, MO. (KTVI) – One by one, the mayor of Kirkwood read the names of each of the shooting victims from the tragic 2008 city hall shooting.

Thursday was the 5 year anniversary of the shooting and the first time a regularly scheduled council meeting fell on the anniversary.

“We’ll never forget this day but we’re not going to let it be the thing that we’re known by,” said Mayor Art McDonnell.

Disgruntled citizen Charles “Cookie” Thornton went on a shooting rampage before he was shot and killed.

Thornton killed Kirkwood police Sergeant William Biggs, Officer Tom Ballman, council members Connie Car and Michael Lynch and public works director Ken Yost.  Mayor Mike Swoboda died several months later from injuries suffered in the shooting.

Mayor Swoboda read a prayer to start Thursday’s council meeting, “We all yearn for community spirit not which divides us but what unites us.”

The meeting began hours after FOX 2 reported that Thornton’s brother was arrested during a raid of his Granite City scrap yard business.  No one from the city of Kirkwood offered a comment on the arrest.

A rainbow was spotted over Kirkwood on Thursday and McDonnell showed citizens a photo of it.

“It reminded me there’s hope for a less violent world,” said Kirkwood resident Beth Purcell.

McDonnell says each of the victims chose a life that included serving their community.  He says even though they’re gone, they continue to inspire others in Kirkwood to continue improving their community.

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