Wellston, MO – North County Police Cooperative Officer Michael Langsdorf was murdered in the line of duty by a convicted felon while responding to a call for a bad check on Sunday.
Officer Langsdorf, 40, responded to Clay’s Wellston Food Market at about 4:30 p.m. on June 24 for a report of a customer trying to cash a bad check, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
At a press conference on Monday morning, police identified Officer Langsdorf’s killer as 26-year-old Bonette Kymbrelle Meeks.
“He confronted this person that was trying to pass the bad check, and during that confrontation a struggle ensued… the entire incident was captured on surveillance video,” North County Police Cooperative Major Ron Martin told reporters.
“Mr. Meeks and Officer Langsdorf had a struggle on the floor. At some point, Officer Langsdorf was on top of Meeks,” Major Martin explained
He said somehow their positions got switched and Meeks pulled a gun out of his waistband and struck Officer Langsdorf in the head multiple times.
Major Martin said the surveillance video showed the officer became dazed and lost his hold on Meeks, and the suspect was able to stand up.
“Officer Langsdorf was on the ground face down, stomach down… he pointed the gun at the back of Officer Langsdorf’s head and fired one shot,” Major Martin described as he struggled to maintain his composure at the podium.
He said that Officer Langsdorf was hit in the left rear neck and the bullet travelled to his spinal cord, where it ricocheted and went out his chest.
The suspect fled immediately after shooting the officer.
“Meeks ran gun in hand out of the store… assisting officers captured him and he was armed with the pistol he used to murder Officer Langsdorf,” Major Martin said.
After Officer Langsdorf was shot, a bystander filmed a Facebook live video on her cell phone, and broadcasted the officer bleeding to death on the floor of the store.
Major Martin said the woman who livestreamed “the last minutes of Officer Langsdorf’s life” is an employee of the store, and said she was “very cooperative with our investigators.”
He said another woman in the store went to Officer Langsdorf’s aid and used his radio to tell dispatch that there was an officer down.
Officer Langsdorf was transported to Barnes-Jewish hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Meeks was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, felony resisting arrest, illegal possession of a firearm.
The gun that he was carrying was not stolen and police said they’re still trying to determine its origin.
Major Martin said that Meeks was also a felon in possession of a firearm, with multiple felony convictions from North Carolina.
He said investigators believed Meeks had moved to the St. Louis area in January.
Officer Langsdorf had been with the North County Police Cooperative for only three months, but in that short time, he had become a popular mentor who “took young officers under his wing,” North County Police Cooperative Chief John Buchannan told reporters.
“All he wanted was to be a police officer and do police work – he told me that multiple times,” Chief Buchannan said.
Prior to joining North County, he served on the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for 17 years, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“Mike was incredibly passionate about police work,” Brian Millikan, a lawyer for the St. Louis Police Officers Association, said. “It was his mission in life. We lost a good one today.”
Many of the North County Police Cooperative officials present on the dais for the press conference had previously served on the St. Louis police force with Officer Langsdorf and spoke very highly of him.
The North County Police Cooperative was founded only four years ago and has about 60 officers.
Officer Langsdorf’s murder was the first officer-involved shooting for the department, as well as its first fallen officer so it was “tough to get a grasp on it all,” Major Martin said.
Before Officer Langsdorf became a police officer, he was a volunteer firefighter with the Springdale Fire Protection District, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
“I can’t believe it,” Battalion Chief Bill Modrosic said. “He was a good man, and definitely a dedicated police officer. He liked being a firefighter, but once he became a police officer it was clear that that was what he was supposed to do.”
Officer Langsdorf is survived by his fiance and two children.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of North County Police Cooperative Officer Michael Langsdorf, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Langsdorf, your life mattered.