KIRKWOOD, Mo. – The Kirkwood School District held one of its first Halloween events since gunfire put a frantic end to a Trunk-or-Treat event two weeks ago at North Kirkwood Middle School. Former St. Louis County police officer Matthew McCulloch, 39, is still in jail, facing numerous charges related to the October 15th incident. McCulloch is the son of former longtime St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch.
The former officer is charged with firing multiple shots into the air. No one was injured.
The scare didn’t stop people in the district from showing up Friday night at North Glendale Elementary School. Droves of families came out for the latest Trunk-or-Treat event. Parents told FOX 2 they felt comfortable and appreciated what the district had done to keep them safe.
“They kind of informed us of protocols that they would start following, and that there would be more police presence around,” said parent of two Jenna Schmeer. “So, I think people are feeling safe.” Still, Schmeer said the shooting shook families district wide.
“I think people were definitely shocked,” she added. Ann Polan also has two young kids in the district. She said the shooting was especially jarring because it was at a district-sponsored event. “I knew people who were there, and I just can’t imagine how scary that was for them in that moment. Especially when you hear about those things happening throughout the country, and having it so close to home is really scary,” Polan said.
A scary event. But these Kirkwood families still showed up Friday night to show everyone, while they may be in the Halloween spirit, they are not afraid. That’s the message Joe Baldassare wants people to take away.
“There’s nothing to really be concerned about,” Baldassare said. “You definitely want to be cautious in life, but you can’t hold yourself back. And you want to make sure to let your kids have fun as they grow up.”
McCulloch pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of firing shots into the air at the family event in Kirkwood. St. Louis County Police said that, “as of October 19, 2023, Mr. McCulloch is no longer employed by our department.”
McCulloch faces 11 charges, including child endangerment and making a terrorist threat. McCulloch is jailed on a $500,000 cash-only bond. Court records show a bond reduction hearing scheduled for Friday was canceled on Wednesday.