MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. — The Maryland Heights Community Center is back open one week after an employee was shot and killed inside.
The center had been closed since the night of Feb. 24, when police said Maria Lucas, 45, was shot and killed by co-worker Michael Joseph Honkomp.
Honkomp was charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree assault on a special victim, one count of resisting arrest and three counts of armed criminal action.
He was shot after exchanging gunfire with an officer who ran into the building shortly after the incident, police said. According to recent reports, he is still in the hospital.
Monday morning, cars filed into the parking lot as gymgoers and other wellwishers arrived at the center.
Employee Bradley Sachs said it's been a rough week but he and others are trying to heal.
“Normalcy is relative, but yes, it’s definitely healing," Sachs said. "And we’re ready for our patrons and we’ll do the best we can."
The center will have amended hours for the next few weeks.
Beginning Monday, its hours will be 5:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., Monday – Friday. Saturday hours are from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday hours are from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
All programs and events will resume as scheduled and the fitness center, indoor aquatic center and south gym are open.
The north gym will be closed for about the next two weeks.
The city is offering free counseling services for community center patrons.
A chaplain will be at the center throughout the day on Monday. Professional counselors also will be on-site March 2–4 beginning at 6 p.m.
A memorial service for Lucas will be held on March 7 at 10 a.m. at Christ Church Cathedral.
"We just miss Maria," Sachs said. "And hopefully time will allow us to remember her but forget the pain."
Monetary donations for the ‘Maria Lucas Family Fund’ can be sent to the following Commercial Bank locations:
- Westport - 2330 Westport Plaza Dr.
- Florissant - 400 W. Washington
- Chesterfield - 703 Long Road Crossing Dr. Suite 12
- Manchester - 2197 S. Mason