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My Memories of the 2008 Kirkwood City Hall Shooting

February 7, 2014 Crime, Featured, St. Louis County, Steve Patterson 2 Comments

Six years ago today a tragic shooting took place in the Kirkwood City Hall during a city council meeting:

After storming the meeting and killing five people Thursday night, Charles Lee “Cookie” Thornton was fatally shot by law enforcers. Friends and relatives said he had a long-standing feud with the city, and he had lost a federal free-speech lawsuit against the St. Louis suburb just 10 days earlier. At earlier meetings, he said he had received 150 tickets against his business. (CBS News)

Mayor Mike Swoboda was severely injured, he died 7 months later:

Mr. Swoboda’s health deteriorated following a fall he took in early May, according to his son. He also had cancer. Mr. Swoboda was moved to a hospice on the campus of St. Anthony’s Medical Center on the Tuesday prior to his death. (Webster-Kirkwood Times)

I don’t remember news of the shooting because I was in the intensive care unit at Saint Louis University Hospital, my doctors had put me into a drug-induced coma on the 2nd, after my stroke the day before.  I first learned of the shooting when I transferred to SSM Rehab at St. Mary’s on February 25th. At this same time the news was reporting Swoboda would be transferred to a rehab hospital, like the brain injury unit where I’d just arrived.

I spent nearly a month at the brain injury rehab unit at SSM/St. Mary's
I spent nearly a month at the brain injury rehab unit at SSM/St. Mary’s

Swoboda ended up being treated for his brain injury at another facility.  Not all patients in therapy had brain injuries, some had been in car accidents, had limbs amputated as a result of diabetes, etc.

I thought of the Kirkwood shooting when I recently read last month about Castle Rock, CO now allowing guns to be openly carried into public buildings & parks:

The Castle Rock Town Council heard several hours of public comment on Tuesday concerning the repeal of the firearm open-carry ban before its vote of approval.

According to the Denver Post, Town Manager Mark Stevens favored repealing the ban. A majority of the police department and town staff were opposed to the repeal. (Source)

A good way to discourage public participation.

 — Steve Patterson


Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Kassy says:

    The logic of gun bans has always been silly. I see a sticker in the St. Louis county library saying no guns allowed. I suppose they think the mass murderer will see the sticker and think to himself, “gee, I was going to kill everyone in here, but because, the sticker says not to bring my gun in here, I’ll obey that and not go in and kill everybody.” Absurd.

    • dempster holland says:

      We should follow the NRA rule that only a good guy with a gun can protect us from a bad
      guy with a gun. So if libraries allow guns, everyone else going to the library should bring
      their own gun. And not just a pistol–bring an AR-15 since that is what the bad guy will
      bring. And if your gun accidentally goes off, that is the price we pay for the important
      goal of upholding our second amendment rights


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