WELLSTON, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A North Carolina man with a lengthy criminal history fatally shot a North County Police Cooperative officer responding to a report of a bad check inside a Wellston market Sunday, police said.
North County Cooperative Police Officer Michael Langsdorf was called to Clay’s Wellston Food Market in the 6200 block of Page shortly after 4:30 p.m. Sunday after receiving a report of someone cashing a bad check.
After arriving at the scene, the 40-year-old officer was confronted by the suspect, identified as Bonette Kymbrelle Meeks, during which a struggle ensued inside the store near the counter, according to police. Video surveillance inside the store reportedly captured the entire incident as it unfolded.
Police said during the struggle, the officer and suspect ended up on the floor. Major Ron Martin described the following moments during a press conference Monday morning:
At some point Officer Langsdorf was on top of Meeks, I don’t know how, looking at the video, Mr. Meeks was able to do it, but he was able to pull a gun from his waistband, strike Officer Langsdorf in the side of the head a few times, which caused Officer Langsdorf to be in kind of a daze and lose his hold on Mr. Meeks. Mr. Meeks was able to stand up and stand over Officer Langsdorf as Officer Langsdorf was on the ground facedown, stomach down. Mr. Meeks had the gun in his hand, pointed the gun to the back of Officer Langsdorf’s head and fired one shot.
Martin said the bullet struck Officer Langsdorf in the neck, traveled to his spinal cord and out his chest. The officer was then rushed to Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where he was pronounced dead around 5:15 p.m.
“Mr. Meeks was successful in executing a cop yesterday, and a good one," Martin said.
Through tears, Martin expressed gratitude to all the responding agencies and those at the market who helped Langsdorf get aid.
Meeks was later arrested in the 6220 block of Page. He was reportedly still carrying the gun used to fatally shoot Officer Langsdorf.
Officer Langsdorf had been employed by the department for three months but worked for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for 17 years.
“Mike was an outstanding officer,” said North County Cooperative Police Chief John Buchannan. “In his short time with our department, he was taking our young officers under his wings and was mentoring and guiding them. When we first met he said to me several times, ‘All I wanted to do was be a police officer and do police work. ‘“
Langsdorf leaves behind a fiancee, two teenage children and his parents.
Major Martin said he had known Langsdorf for 20 years and that he was a “good one.”
“Mike was a pretty big part of us even though he was here for a short time,” said Martin. “He had a lot of police experience, you never would’ve thought that this type of police officer would have been in that position, but it happened. There’s no such thing as a routine call, these are the dangers that police officers in this community face every day.”
BackStoppers is aiding the fallen officer's family. According to the non-profit organization, when a first responder dies, their family receives a check for $10,000 with assurance of further help. The organization said their goal is to make the family debt-free and provide ongoing support for education and other extraordinary expenses.
Donations can also be made by stopping by any First Community Credit Union location.
Monday afternoon, Officer Langdsdorf's body was taken to Kreigshauser Funeral Home in Olivette.
Bonette Kymbrelle Meeks came to the St. Louis-area from North Carolina. During a press conference Monday morning, police said they believed Meeks came to the area earlier this year after spending most of his adulthood in North Carolina.
In Meeks' hometown of Raleigh, he was convicted seven times of drug-related crimes. The first was in 2009 and the most recent time was in 2016.
At the time he was classified as a habitual criminal. As a convicted felon Meeks was not supposed to be in possession of a firearm.
However, he had no run-ins with police in the St. Louis area until the shooting.
"I can tell you its an extensive, extensive criminal history and violent," said Major Martin.
Meeks had worked at a Panera Bread on St. Charles Rock Road until a few months ago.
The 26-year-old suspect was not injured during the incident.
Monday morning, police said Meeks confessed to murdering Langsdorf.
Meeks has been charged with murder, armed criminal action, unlawful possession of a firearm and felony resisting arrest. No bond was set.
During a court hearing Tuesday, Meeks, who was wearing a tan jail suit and had his hands cuffed and his feet shackled, asked for a public defender. His next court date is currently scheduled for October 17.
News 4 talked with Bonette Meeks’ father, Bonette Meeks, Sr., and received this letter sent on behalf of the Meeks family:
On behalf of the actions of Bonette Kymbrelle Meeks. The family would like to express our deepest sympathy and send our condolences to the Michael Langsdorf children, parents, fiancee, family and friends. We are devastated that Michael Langsdorf family has to endure such heartache. We know there are no words that can change the outcome of what has happened. We will continue to pray the strength that we all shall see light at the end of this darkened tunnel and GOD will continue to be a fence around us all.
With Sincere Sympathy and Condolences, Meeks Family
Members of the St. Louis Police Officers Association in South City representing various law enforcement agencies gathered Sunday evening to lower flags in mourning.
Members of the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association lower flags to half-staff in remembrance of North County Co-op Officer Michael Langsdorf. The officer, w/ the department 3 months, was shot & killed while answering a call of a ‘bad check report’ at a #Wellston business. @KMOV pic.twitter.com/GfKWKNogTL— Venton Blandin (@VentonBlandinTV) June 24, 2019
Today, North County Police Cooperative Officer Michael Langsdorf was shot and killed responding to a call at a Wellston business. Our prayers go out to his family and fellow officers. Officer Langsdorf was bravely carrying out his oath to serve #NeverForget— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) June 24, 2019
Sending my condolences to the family of Officer Michael Langsdorf and to the women and men of the North County Police Cooperative who have lost one of their officers.— Kimberly Gardner (@StLouisCityCA) June 24, 2019
On behalf of the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office @JeffCoMoSheriff our hearts weep for the family of Michael Langsdorf. Our prayers tonight are for the family and our LE community. pic.twitter.com/Z97tVWoE7r— Sheriff Dave Marshak (@SheriffMarshak) June 24, 2019
The Attorney General’s Office offers prayers and condolences to the family and friends of Officer Langsdorf - a tragic reminder of the dangers that our brave officers face every day in protecting our communities. #BackTheBlue— Attorney General Eric Schmitt (@AGEricSchmitt) June 24, 2019
@DEASTLOUISDiv joins @stlcountypd / @COOPPolice in mourning one of our own. Today North County Cooperative Officer Mike Langsdorf was killed in the line Duty while protecting our community. #OfficerDown #NeverForgotten @ODMP pic.twitter.com/6rSkhgaCzc— DEAStLouis (@DEASTLOUISDiv) June 24, 2019
We extend our most sincere condolences to the North County Police Cooperative and the family and friends of Officer Michael Langsdorf, who today died in the line of duty. #NeverForget pic.twitter.com/6aiiHIdySI— SCCMOPD (@SCCMOPD) June 24, 2019
We extend our most sincere condolences to the North County Police Cooperative and the family and friends of Officer Michael Langsdorf, who was killed in the line of duty. #neverforget— Florissant Police (@FlorissantPD) June 24, 2019
There are many people in the 86th district impacted by the fatal shooting of Officer Langsdorf. On behalf of my friends and neighbors, we send our deepest sympathy to his family. Also, on behalf of the community, we ask that officers help us build bridges and solve cases.— MariaChappelleNadal🇵🇷 (@MariaChappelleN) June 24, 2019
The BackStoppers is now assisting the family of Officer Michael Langsdorf of the North County Police Cooperative who was shot and killed in the line of duty on June 23, 2019. Cont’d pic.twitter.com/CEsstkajQN— The BackStoppers Inc (@BackStoppers) June 24, 2019
The North County Police Cooperative serves seven North County communities, including Wellston.