FENTON, MO - A New Year's Day event at the Fenton ice rink honored a fallen police officer and raised money for his children.
After the death of North County Police Cooperative Officer Michael Langsdorf, his fellow Mehlville High School hockey team alumni decided to show their support for his family. They turned their annual New Year's Day scrimmage into a fundraiser.
Al Roth coached Langsdorf on the Mehlville High School hockey team 25 years ago, and he said Langsdorf continued to play in his free time as an alum.
Bess Langsdorf said her son's love for hockey started long before high school but joked that he got a ‘late start’ getting into the sport at 8-years-old rather than three or four like many of his teammates. Once he got started though, there was no looking back.
"We tried soccer, we tried baseball, but those were a little too boring," said Bess.
Friends said Langsdorf was a good teammate who never tried to show off. His attitude on the ice carried into his personal and professional life, they said.
"As a young hockey player and young policeman coming in, Mike took me under his wing pretty early," said Sgt. Adam Duke with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
Duke said many could share similar stories. During the nearly three years he was partnered with Langsdorf in SLMPD, Duke witnessed him mentor other young officers.
"He's got a legacy that's going to outlast all of us," Duke said.
He said one need not look any further than this event in Langsdorf's honor. The building was packed with people showing their support more than six months after his death.
Langsdorf was shot and killed in the line of duty on June 23, 2019. He was 40-years-old.
"It's hard to believe that he's not here," said Roth. "It's not the way it's supposed to be."
Three teams played in the event including the Mehlville hockey alumni and area police officers versus firefighters. All money raised through registration, door donations, t-shirt sales, and a silent auction will go to Langsdorf's two teenage kids.
"We're hoping that this whole year will be more happiness instead of sadness, and this is a good way to start," said Bess.
Langsdorf was a 17-year veteran of law enforcement. BackStoppers is also supporting his family.