Six dead in city council shooting
Feb 08,2008 00:00 by UPI
KIRKWOOD, Mo. -- A man at odds with city officials went on a shooting rampage at a Kirkwood, Mo., City Council meeting Thursday, killing five people, police said.

The victims included three city officials and two police officers. The shooter, identified as Charles Lee "Cookie" Thornton, an independent contractor, was killed by police.

Two others, including Kirkwood Mayor Mike Swoboda, were injured. He was listed in critical condition early Friday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch identified the dead as Councilwoman Connie Karr, Public Works Director Kenneth Yost and police officers Tom Ballman and William Biggs. Kirkwood is a suburb of St. Louis. The identity of the fifth victim wasn't released as of early Friday.

The last thing Thornton said to his family were "To God be the glory" and that he loved them, the Post-Dispatch said. Then, he reportedly headed for City Hall where he allegedly gunned down a police officer outside before bursting into the council chamber just after the Pledge of Allegiance and opened fire.

A Post-Dispatch reporter said Thornton rushed into the meeting room yelling "something about 'shoot the mayor' and he just walked around shooting anybody he could."

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