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The nephew of a Missouri man who killed five people at a suburban St. Louis city council meeting is running for a seat on that same governing body. 
   Jayson Thornton tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he doesn't want Kirkwood to be known only for the Feb. 7, 2008, massacre in which his uncle, Charles "Cookie" Thornton stormed into the council chamber and started shooting.
   Five people were killed and one more was seriously wounded before police fatally shot Cookie Thornton, who was mad about race relations in the Meacham Park neighborhood where Jayson Thornton now lives with his wife and children.
   The 30 year old is scheduled to appear at a forum in Kirkwood Monday night alongside candidates Timothy E. Griffin, Bob Sears, Paul Ward and Gary Reim.
Published in Local News
Friday, 08 February 2013 02:16

Kirkwood remembers 2008 mass shootings

The city of Kirkwood continues to remember the lives lost in a mass shooting five years ago, even as officials work to move the city forward.

A quirk of the calendar put Thursday night's City Council meeting on the five year anniversary of the Kirkwood City Hall shootings.

Before the meeting people gathered outside city hall and held hands. Church bells tolled seven times -- once for each of the six victims, and the shooter.

The massacre on February 7th, 2008 had claimed the lives Mayor Mike Swoboda ((swuh-BOH-duh)), council members Connie Karr and Michael Lynch, Public Works Director Ken Yost ((YOHST)), Police Sergeant William Biggs and Officer Tom Ballman. The shooter, Charles "Cookie" Thornton was also killed.

Last night's council meeting began with a simple commemoration. Mayor Arthur McDonnell read the names of the victims, and offered a prayer. A moment of silence followed, then it was business as usual.
Published in Local News
The brother of Kirkwood City Hall shooter Charles "Cookie" Thornton is claiming that his Granite City scrap yard was raided Thursday afternoon in retaliation for the 2008 massacre.

Just hours before the fifth anniversary of the shooting was marked in Kirkwood, the Metro East Auto Theft Task Force executed a warrant at Paul Thornton's Scrap Solutions business in the 5500 block of Dial Drive. But Task force Director Gary Brewer says it had nothing to do with the anniversary of the shootings. "This all has to do with timing on following and executing a search warrant to find stolen vehicles," Brewer said.

Police found several stolen cars on the lot, along with a stolen semi and another tractor-trailer filled with auto parts. Brewer said the bust was the result of an investigation that began after a spike in thefts of older model cars.

Thornton was critical of the way the raid was conduction. He told Fox 2 News Thursday evening that it wasn't right for 20 to 30 officers to come to his business with guns drawn.

Police won't say if there are any charges pending against Thornton.
Published in Local News
Tonight is the fifth anniversary of the horrific Kirkwood City Hall shootings.

On February 7th, 2008, disgruntled Kirkwood resident Charles "Cookie" Thornton gunned down six public servants during a city council meeting before being shot and killed by police.

Two police officers, two council members and the city's public works director also died that night. Several months later, Kirkwood Mayor Mike Swoboda died from his injuries.

Thornton, a Meecham Park resident, had reportedly been upset because his company was denied the contract on a development in his neighborhood. Thornton had accused city leaders of bias in the racially divided city.

Since the shootings, several community groups have worked to try to bridge the divide.

There are no plans for a formal commemoration at tonight's city council meeting. Instead, Mayor Arthur McDonnell says they'll take a moment to remember the fallen at the end of the meeting.
Published in Local News

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