This morning, I heard the news of the murder of a young police officer. Officer Norvelle Brown, only 22 years old and a rookie cop, made St. Louis headlines for the second time in his short career--his short, honorable life. In April, Officer Brown responded to a hostage situation during a barber shop robber, defusing the situation and apprehending the armed robbers. He and another officer received citations for that action. He had been out of the academy only 7 months at the time.
Last night, Officer Brown left his patrol car to investigate a group of people who were loitering in a vacant lot. No one knows the exact details leading to Brown's murder. We do know that the bullet that killed him missed his body armor, passing through both lungs.
Officer Brown was able to speak for a short time before he died. Police have not publicized his last words. I hope they were to his parents.
Fox2 News online has more information.
Backstoppers is an organization that takes care of first responders killed or disabled in the line of duty. If you have an extra dollar or two, they will put it to great use. For instance, within 24 hours, Officer Brown's family will get a visit from Backstoppers, along with a $5,000 check. Later, the Backstoppers will help the family with any additional needs related to their son's service and tragic death.
That was this morning. Tonight, one of St. Louis's finest churches was destroyed in a fire that still roars on in the hot, humid air of August in St. Louis. The 125-year-old St. Alphonsus Liguori "Rock" church stood at 1118 North Grand, about 4 blocks south of Vashon High School where Officer Brown attended. The Rock church was beacon in the North St. Louis area.
My mood has been glum all day. It's glummer now. The heat wave that's plagued St. Louis for two weeks broke this evening. But the rain that damped the temperature seem more like tears from Heaven, mourning St. Louis's long, hot day.