Exclusive: ‘He Helped Others.” Parents of fallen Officer Michael Langsdorf share stories of son’s life, legacy

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO – August 23rd was a sad day for the St. Louis area. An Illinois State Police Trooper had been killed in the line of duty.

Across the river, another law enforcement family was grieving.

August 23 marked two months to the day since North County Police Cooperative Officer Michael Langsdorf was shot and killed.

“I still cry every morning,” Langsdorf’s mother, Bess said.

Bess and the officer’s father, Jerry, sat down with Fox 2 to talk about their son’s life and legacy.

The couple described their son as a family man. He loved his children, his parents, and was a friend to everyone, they said.

Mike Langsdorf had just begun planning his wedding. He had proposed to his girlfriend, Kim, just days before his life was cut short.

Bess and Jerry remember that day well.

Langsdorf, 40, had been shot and killed while responding to a disturbance call at a Wellston market the afternoon of June 23rd.

“We were all going to have dinner that night together. All of us,” Jerry said. “We ended up in Barnes emergency room.”

Langsdorf was well-liked in his job at the North County Cooperative. He could easily get informants to talk and was a mentor to new officers.

“They said if they needed something, ‘Get Langsdorf.’ He helped others. It’s just something he wanted to do. From early on, even at Halloween, he was dressed as a police officer one time,” Bess Langsdorf said.

That picture of him dressed as an officer was from when he was five-years-old. Eventually, the costume was replaced with a uniform. Langsdorf served with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, heralded for his work saving lives. Among his most noteworthy cases, the ABB shooting.

“He was one of the first on the scene there. He helped get some of the people away from the shooter,” said Bess Langsdorf.

His funeral drew a huge crowd at the Cathedral Basilica.

“What struck us is the thousands of people that paid their respects to us. They all said the same thing. It was like somebody gave them a script before they entered the room. But there was no script. It was from their heart,” said Jerry Langsdorf.

It was a moment that brought his mother to tears.

“It was overwhelming – all the things that they told us,” she added. We are so proud. We always told him that.”

Cards continue to come to the Langsdorf’s home. They receive them daily.

One of them, in particular, was especially moving to the parents.

Someone had taken the time to write the Irish Blessing. It was from injured Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor.

Two months and a few days after their son’s death, the Langsdorf’s memory of the fallen hero is strong. And they hope that memory resonates with the community.

“As the world goes on, and it just shoves things aside and keeps moving, I always want him to be remembered. For what he did for everybody. Just like it says here [on this bracelet]: ‘Never Forgotten.’ That’s what I want,” Jerry Langsdorf said.

His mother, Bess, echoed those sentiments.

“We’d really like the [community] all to support the police that are still here. Respect them, please.  They’re there for you. They’re there for all of us. They are people too,” she said.

The parents reiterated how thankful they are for support from the public, from first responders to total strangers.

“We’re so deeply appreciative,” Jerry Langsdorf said.

A barbeque honoring Ofc. Langsdorf will take place Saturday, September 7 from 10 am – 6 pm. At 827 Arnold Commons Drive in Arnold.

The Crestwood Elks BPOE is sponsoring a trivia night Saturday, October 26 at the Crestwood Elks on Bauer Road.

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