How do you react when you go to check what the latest big news is, and you see your hometown on the front page of a global news outlet? It’s even on the front of BBC News. Basically, a gunman walked into a Kirkwood City Council meeting and shot to death five people and injured two more, including the mayor. He was shot to death by police within minutes of entering the chambers.
And I am dumbfounded trying to figure out how crazy things like this keep happening in this place.
The best way to describe Kirkwood is whitewashed, I guess. You can find it at the corner of Highway 61 and Route 66. No joke. They have spent my whole life trying to buy out/kick out the heavily black, poor neighborhoods in the area and replace them with Wall-Mart and Lowe’s. And they have been very successful in their goals in the past 10 years or so. The city looks really nice, is fairly quiet and upper-middle class and has good enough public schools. It has a cute downtown area and a cute Amtrak station and excellent access to freeways both north-south (I-270) and east-west (I-44).
So maybe Charles Lee Thornton was sick of being ignored
“The only way that I can put it in a context that you might understand,” said his brother, Gerald, hours after the shooting, “is that my brother went to war tonight with the people that were of the government that was putting torment and strife into his life. He has spoke on it as best he could in the courts, and they denied all rights to the access of protection and he took it upon himself to go to war and end the issue.”
I am not suggesting these murders were justified, and I am really concerned about my home and the people there. I am just trying to understand how this could happen mere minutes from where Michael Devlin’s apartment was, minutes from where Kevin Johnson killed Sgt. McEntee, minutes from where I grew up and across the street from the Hobby Station where I used to buy kits to build model rockets in the summer.