The nation’s latest shooting tragedy brings to mind similar violence in Iowa two decades ago, an incident that eventually changed the state’s political landscape. In suburban Saint Louis, a gunman opened fire at a Kirkwood, Missouri, city council meeting last night, killing two police officers and three city officials.
The mayor was critically hurt before the gunman, who had a history of badgering city leaders, was also killed. In Iowa in December of 1986, a man who was disgruntled over sewer problems opened fire at the Mount Pleasant city council meeting, killing Mayor Ed King and wounding two city council members.
The dead mayor’s father — and others — encouraged a local attorney to run for office. That lawyer was elected mayor and served three terms, future two-term Iowa governor Tom Vilsack.