Senate President pro Tem Michael Gibbons returned to the Senate today after joining his fellow residents of Kirkwood in mourning the deaths from the Kirkwood City Hall shootings a week ago today.
Gibbons is an attorney from Kirkwood, a former city councilman and Deputy mayor of the city.
"We’ve had a tough week," he told the Senate. "Grief has left us empty inside but it is into the emptiness that healing is beginning to flow."
Gibbons reported Mayor Mike Swoboda continues to improve from his head wounds each day, "not much but a little."
Gibbons referred to the tragedy as "like a death in the family," and noted the tragedy was caused by a longtime friend Charles Lee "Cookie" Thornton, "known to many people as a very joyous person (who) snapped." Gibbons told the Senate Thornton "lashed out at other family members and caused immeasurable harm and grief."
Gibbons praised the work of the Kirkwood police department, which lost two officers in the incident, for reacting quickly and ending the incident without other loss of life. "We move on from here on a decidedly new path," he said, "From the Ashes of February 7thj we will rise, changed but stronger."