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Memorial for Slain Officials Challenged

CLAYTON, Mo. (CN) - A Kirkwood man filed a temporary restraining order to try to stop construction of a memorial honoring city officials who were gunned down in a shooting rampage at a City Council meeting in February 2008. Michael Moore claims it's unconstitutional for Kirkwood to use $435,000 in taxpayer money to build the memorial.

Moore wants construction stopped until the St. Louis County Court rules on it. Moore told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he is in favor of a memorial, but it should be paid for by private donations.

Kirkwood resident Charles "Cookie" Thornton killed two Kirkwood police officers and three city officials before he was shot to death by police on Feb. 7, 2008.

Thornton also shot Kirkwood Mayor Bill Swoboda in the head. Swoboda died months later.

Kirkwood officials told the Post-Dispatch that the memorial is almost complete and its grand opening is scheduled for May 23.

A hearing on the matter was held before Judge Robert Cohen on Monday. Cohen gave Moore until today (Wednesday) to provide case law to support his argument.

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