Public officials are responsible for making decisions that affect people's lives. Sometimes, their decisions don't always sit well with their constituents. Friends and family say a long standing feud between Charles Lee "Cookie" Thornton and members of the Kirkwood City Council may have triggered Thornton's deadly rampage.
"First of all, I'm sad and dismayed that something like that occurred, but these days I can't tell you I'm really surprised. Unfortunately, we have some issues in this country where people feel like they have to take matters into their own hands, unfortunately, it's always done with guns," said William Martin, Harrison County's District 4 Supervisor.
Martin has served more than eight years on the Harrison County Board of Supervisors and currently serves as president. He only recalls one incident where a law enforcement officer had to step in.
"We did have a situation where we had a sheriff's officer sit by a citizen who seemed to be continuously unruly and wasn't listening to what we were trying to tell her," Martin said.
District 3 Supervisor Marlin Ladner has also served eight years on the Board.
"We do have security at the courthouse, but that's primarily for the upstairs part which is the courts. As for the board room, we don't have any formal security, but we do have the sheriff's dept at the board meetings, which would provide security for us," Ladner said.
Ladner and Martin agree that they feel the board meetings are pretty safe, but they also understand this type of tragedy could happen anywhere.
"To be honest with you, if somebody wants to do something to you, they can do it to you just as well outside the courthouse as inside," Martin said.
Two police officers, the public works director and two council members were killed in the Kirkwood shooting. The city's mayor remains in critical condition.