Town Mourns City Hall Dead

Gunman was town gadfly; feuded with city council over 150 parking tickets
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2008 7:00 AM CST
Caroline Hueseman, 7, left, and her friend Sydnie Wilcutt, 9, participate in a candlelight vigil across the street from Kirkwood City Hall Friday, Feb. 8, 2008, in Kirkwood, Mo. A gunman opened fire at...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hundreds gathered in Kirkwood, Missouri, last night for a vigil to mourn the five victims of Thursday night's City Hall shooting, including two police officers and two city council members, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The shooter was identified as Charles "Cookie" Thornton, a local contractor with a history of grievances against the city, including 150 parking tickets a friend said were "eating at him."

Thornton, who was shot down by police after killing five and wounding two others, had long been the town gadfly, battling the city over permits for his demolition and asphalt business and badgering council members, whom he accused of having a "plantation mentality." Two weeks before the shooting spree, he lost a lawsuit against the city over an arrest for disorderly conduct at a council meeting. Thornton left a note saying "the truth will win in the end."