KIRKWOOD, Mo. – It has been ten years since the deadly Kirkwood City Hall shooting where six people, including the gunman, died.
"My son called me and said, dad there are police cars from all over at city hall, and something is going on," said Kirkwood Deputy Mayor Paul Ward.
That’s how he first heard the news there had been a shooting at city hall.
His first instinct was to call his friend to see if he was okay.
"I tried to call Mike Lynch, a good friend of mine, we had gone on council together, and of course he was dead," he said.
Little did he know, several others were dead too.
Charles "Cookie" Thornton had gone to the meeting upset. He was upset over fines he had gotten for parking construction equipment on the street.
"It was gut-wrenching to think that this could happen, I just wanted to get to whoever was a survivor," Ward said.
But city hall was closed off, Ward said, he went to the hospital that night to comfort family members who had lost loved ones.
"You can't explain exactly how you feel, you feel sorrow, you feel some anger, you know that idea of 'why did this happen' creeps in there," he said.
In all, Thornton shot and killed five city officials, and wounded the mayor who later died.
Ward said, he knew Thornton, and even went to high school with him.
"He was a long time Kirkwood resident. He came from a large family, all very personable, good people, I mean he came from a good family. Everyone loved him, and most of the council considered Cookie a friend,” he said.
There will be a vigil at Kirkwood City Hall at 7 p.m. Wednesday.