St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch said evidence gathered after the Feb. 7 shooting indicated Charles "Cookie" Thornton would have killed more people during the Kirkwood City Council meeting had he not been shot and killed himself.
Thornton's rampage lasted less than a minute before he was shot, McCulloch said. Thornton, 52, killed a police officer outside City Hall before fatally shooting another officer, two council members and the city's public works director inside the building. A reporter and then-Mayor Mike Swoboda were injured.
"Clearly, from all the evidence in the case, Charles Thornton went to the Kirkwood City Council that night for the purpose of executing as many members of the ... council and city administration as he could," McCulloch said.
He cited Thornton's shooting of Councilwoman Connie Karr, who had long tried to help Thornton resolve his many disputes with the city. He said Thornton had to follow her around a corner to kill her.
In addition to a report about the investigation, McCulloch released an audio recording of the meeting. On it, city officials and audience members are heard reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and beginning the meeting before shots ring out and screaming is heard.
Although witnesses remember Thornton yelling several different things, he is captured on tape yelling only, "Hands in the air, hands in the air."