Five Years After Kirkwood Mass Shooting, Is Meacham Park Healing

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(KTVI) - A moment of silence is planned at Thursday nights Kirkwood city council meeting, marking the five year anniversary of the deadly city hall shooting rampage.

Four city employees died that night, as well as two police officers who tried to stop Charles Cookie Thornton from entering the meeting.

Police later killed Thornton, a Meachum park resident.

Mayor Art McDonnel is planning to remember the victims who died and those who survived during the meeting.

A new security system is in place for the meetings.

But five years after the Kirkwood city hall shooting; one phrase you hear over and over describing race relations is "We're Making Progress."

An organization that grew out of the tragedy is the "Community for Understanding an Hope."  

Members say positive action has been made to bridge the gap between blacks and whites in Kirkwood.  Meacham park residents say they are thankful for greater police patrols and improved relations with the police department, but they don't want to be defined by the crime of one man.

Community leaders say what Kirkwood has done to ease racial tensions, may be a model for other cities, facing similar issues.