Friday, February 08, 2008

Regarding Kirkwood…

Last night a gunman opened fire at a Kirkwood City Council meeting. Two police officers, three civilians in attendance and the gunman were killed. Another victim is recovering from a gunshot wound to the hand and the Mayor of Kirkwood is in critical condition at St. John's Mercy.

Kirkwood City Hall is now a crime scene.

In the coming days many will question security measures, whether the gunman should have been prevented from attending council meetings and whether Kirkwood will ever be the same.

But today I’m praying for the victims and the community of Kirkwood.


Yankee, Transferred said...

I thought of you when I heard this on the news. Praying along with you.

Limecrete said...

The weird thing about Kirkwood is that it's so...white bread. When that bullshit study came out about how St. Louis was the most dangerous city in America, all the natives laughed their asses off, because they only counted the small region of the city where most of the crime is concentrated.

But now, suddenly, one of the most affluent suburbs is the scene of a city council shootup, the place where kidnappers work, and didn't someone get shot on their high school's football field several years back? One could argue that crime doesn't respect imaginary geographical lines, but Kirkwood seems to be the only outlying area where this is happening. Nobody's shooting up Webster Groves. Nobody's snatching kids in Tower Grove Park. It's like crime jumped on the bus, bypassed the entire Metro area, and decided to settle in the neighborhood with the feed store and the children's museum.

Anonymous said...

The brother of the gunman was seeming like he was justifying his brother's acts on all the news stations today. He was comparing it to war. Did you catch it?

Shark-fu said...

Crete...ain't that the truth.

Anon...yes, I heard that on the radio too. I'm not sure where he was going with that, but his claims don't add up to justifiable homicide to me.

bev said...

While I don't think the shooter's actions add up to justifiable homicide either, when the news mentioned Meacham Park, I thought "uh-oh." I don't know all the history except for the fact that half the subdivision is now a Lowes-Walmart-BigBox conglomerate and then there's the Kirkwood officer who was shot there a few years ago. It's not pretty, no matter who you are.

Someone mentioned how whitebread Kirkwood is. There's something about that. Kirkwood needs to realize who it is - who ALL of it is - and work to build a complete sense of community. Me? I'm a white girl in UCity, so take my unsolicited advice to Kirkwood with that grain of salt. We all hvae a lot of work to do.

Dave Coulter said...

Very sad. There's just too many guns out there. As far as his brother's comments, I suspect he was just trying to find a way to make sense of what happened.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

It's a horrible thing to contemplate something like that happening in any community. There is never any excuse for a person to take such exreme measures. It only indicates someone with very serious mental issues.

I believe all that and would never condone anything but passive civil disobedience, but, I have seen the frustration in people's eyes when a government, especially a local government that is supposed to be accessible, treats a person with callous disregard when they are only asking for a little bit of proper redress of community issues that effect them profoundly. Perhaps if someone had just shown some compassion and reached out with some understanding this obviously sick, sick individual might have contained himself.

I know, I'm gonna get slayed for that, but remember, there's a lesson to be learned in every tragedy. Sadly, the lesson learned here will be "more security."

GailScott said...

I don't think the brother of the gunman was trying to justify the tragedy. I think he was pointing out that the gunman had used other ways--talking to the city council and going to court--to try and resolve the dispute.

I think the brother just wanted people to know that the gunman had tried reasonable means to settle the problem.

The gunman was the owner of a construction company and he thought his commercial vehicles were being ticketed because he was black. At one point the city council waved the fines if only he would leave them alone. He wouldn't. The council was going to waive the old fines, but more fines could be placed on his vehicles in the future. He wasn't going for that deal.

Racism is at the bottom of this. Of course that doesn't justify the shootings, but it needs to be examined.

MacDaddy said...

I'm praying as well...

When I was in Madrid last year, I got to know many of the Spanish people there. But there were two things they couldn't understand: Why we voted for George Bush TWICE and why we're such a violent country. I gave a lot of psycho-social explanations. But when the intellectualizing is done, deep done, I still find it amazing how violent we are. Sad.

tgrindadams said...

Weird chit happens in St. Louis area, or maybe cause it's our state...but the city council shooting, kidnapped boys that get found (one after YEARS), a woman that kills her friend (and friend's children) for an unborn fetus...and those are the things I can think of without much brain tax on a Sunday morn.

This is fictional book stuff, not real life stuff, and definetly NOT supposed to be happening in MY state.

kelly said...

To GailScott : Racism?

Cookie had too much equipment parked at his residence, and the zoning laws contained specific guidelines about what kinds of machinery and vehicles were and weren't allowed to be parked in residential areas. Unfortunately, he couldn't take no for an answer, and no matter how much he banged his head against the wall of the zoning code, he would get no justice.

How is that racism? He was fined well over 100 times? Someone with an IQ of 2 would get it after the 10th fine.

His families’ statements make me sick to my stomach. I'm unable to wrap my head around how, in any way, they feel his behavior was heroic or justified.

I get frustrated with the city of Atlanta ALL the time but I'm not going to go shoot up city hall. I learn the rules and follow them...simple and law-abiding.

QQ said...

What happened in Kirkwood was terrible, but it brings light to the fact that we live in a racially segregated city... one that uses gentrification to dismantle black communities.

Kirkwood is not a place of open arms to blacks and its not like this was the only disgruntle black person there, he is just the one that snapped.

Its sad and should never have happened.

But what is more sad is that nobody wants to evaluate the city's actions that contribute to the feelings the people of Meechum Park have.