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Monday, June 24, 2019

Bonette Meeks Charged in Murder of Police Officer Michael Langsdorf

Posted By on Mon, Jun 24, 2019 at 12:04 PM

click to enlarge Officer Michael Langsdorf was killed on Sunday afternoon. - COURTESY NORTH COUNTY POLICE COOPERATIVE
  • COURTESY NORTH COUNTY POLICE COOPERATIVE
  • Officer Michael Langsdorf was killed on Sunday afternoon.

An ex-con originally from North Carolina has been charged with murder in the killing of a police officer at a Wellston market.

Bonette Kimbrelle Meeks, 26, was still carrying the gun he allegedly used when he was arrested Sunday afternoon, shortly after the shooting of North County Police Cooperative Officer Michael Langsdorf, authorities say.



Langsdorf had responded around 4:30 p.m. to a report that Meeks was trying to pass a bad check at Clay's Market on Page Boulevard and Stephen Jones Avenue in north St. Louis Couny. When the veteran officer confronted Meeks, it turned into a physical fight, police say.

At a press conference, North County Coop Major Ron Martin said that Langsdorf was on top of Meeks, but the ex-con was able to pull a handgun from his waistband and clock Langsdorf in the side of the head.

With the officer stunned and face down on the floor, Meeks got to his feet and stood over him with the gun, Martin says.

Through tears, Martin described the final act: "Pointed the gun at Officer Langsdorf's head and fired one shot."

The bullet hit him in his neck, ricocheted off his spinal cord and exited through his chest, Martin says. The whole incident was captured on surveillance footage. Meeks fled while people in the store rushed to the officer's aid. One woman took his police radio and called for help.

Another woman, an employee of the store, filmed the shooting's aftermath on Facebook live. She can be heard trying to comfort him as he lies on the floor. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch linked to the video in early coverage of the shooting, but quickly removed it after outcry over the hard-to-watch footage. Martin says police have worked to get the video removed from Facebook. (The newspaper later apologized, saying that posting the link was "bad news judgment.")

Controversy surrounding the video aside, Co-op Chief John Buchanan praised the people in the market for trying to help Langsdorf.

click to enlarge Bonette Meeks is charged with murder. - COURTESY NORTH COUNTY POLICE COOPERATIVE
  • COURTESY NORTH COUNTY POLICE COOPERATIVE
  • Bonette Meeks is charged with murder.
Martin says Meeks eventually confessed to shooting Langsdorf. Investigators believe he moved in January to St. Louis from the Raleigh, North Carolina, area where he had racked up a long criminal history that included violence.

He is being charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, resisting arrest and unlawful possession of a firearm, all felonies. He is being held without bail.

"Mr. Meeks was successful at executing a cop yesterday, a good one," Martin said.

Langsdorf was a longtime police officer with more than seventeen years in law enforcement. Martin says he had known the late officers for years; they had worked together for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in the city's Third District. Langsdorf was just happy being a cop, he says.

While he was still with the St. Louis police, Langsdorf was assigned to a federal drug task force. He was one of four city officers on the task force who were accused of padding their overtime hours and arrested. The charges were eventually dropped when a judge dismissed a prosecutor's request for more time to bring the case to trial.

Langsdorf became a licensed real estate agent after his arrest, but he was eager to get back into police work. Three months ago, he joined the Co-op, which patrols a number of small cities in north county.

"Mike was a pretty big part of us, even though he was here only a short time," Martin says.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at doyle.murphy@riverfronttimes.com or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

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