Missouri City Council Gunmen Left a Note

FEBRUARY 7, 2008 - Police officers at the scene of a shooting at Kirkwood City Hall.
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Kirkwood, Mo. (AP) The man who opened fire at a council meeting in Kirkwood, Missouri Thursday night had left a suicide note. That word comes from the brother of gunman Charles Thornton.

According to Arthur Thornton, the note said, “the truth will come out in the end.” He says his brother left the note on his bed before going on the deadly shooting rampage.

Thorton says his brother was “just trying to get people's attention.” He says the note reflected his brother's growing frustration with local leaders.

Authorities say Charles Thornton killed a police officer outside city hall before storming the meeting and killing four other people. He was then fatally shot by police. Two others were injured. Kirkwood Mayor Mike Swoboda is hospitalized in critical condition. A newspaper reporter is in satisfactory condition.

Friends and relatives say the gunman had lost a federal free-speech lawsuit against the city recently, and that he'd had a longstanding feud with city officials. At earlier meetings, he said he'd received 150 tickets against his business.

A friend says the city had ticketed Thornton's demolition and asphalt business for parking his commercial vehicles in the neighborhood. The friend says Thornton thought he was being singled out because he was black.

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