5 years later, Kirkwood city council remembers shooting victims

11:16 PM, Feb 7, 2013   |    comments
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KIRKWOOD, Mo. (KSDK) - A moment of silence at Kirkwood City Hall as the city council met on the anniversary of the deadly shooting in the council chambers.

Five years ago, two council members, two police officers, and the city's public workers director were killed.  The mayor was wounded and would later die of his injuries.

The suspect was shot and killed while others narrowly escaped the nightmare.

"Three feet from me, pointed both guns at me, I said 'Cookie don't do it,'" says City Attorney John Hessel. "I looked into his eyes and it was like looking the in the eyes of a shark, very menacing and no emotion whatsoever."

Hessel was sitting next to victims that day, but somehow he was spared. He says he got a little help from above from his father who had died ten years prior, exactly to the day.

"He died February 7th 1998, so was he with me?...absolutely, convinced I felt him with me," says Hessel.

Since the shooting, the City of Kirkwood has realized things need to change. The conversation started between the city and the Meachem Park neighborhood where the suspect was from.

"Let's have open honest fair dialogue and embrace it," says Hessel who says things have started to change.

Some things won't change and shouldn't change, the people, the fibers that make up the the City of Kirkwood.

"We won't let this event change what's good about us, and that's I don't what Kirkwood remembered for that shooting," he says. "That's not how it should be remembered it really should be remembered for the way the people came out after the shooting and dealt with it."




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