Gladstone mother seeks justice after son killed by stray bullet

Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be a deeply painful experience.  It can also drudge up tough memories.

One woman is dealing with a specific kind of loss, one that has brought people together with a shared experience of grief.

Misty Kirwan’s son surrounds her in every room of her Gladstone home.

“Every day is a memory day for me. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t think about him,” Kirwan said.

 

Kirwan’s son, Chris Bartholomew, was killed six years ago when he was struck by a stray bullet at a Walgreen’s near Westport.

“He had went to pick up a friend who had too much to drink,” Kirwan said.

His killer has yet to be identified.

“That’s hard to know that no one has paid for what they’ve done to him, what they’ve taken away from him. And what they’ve taken away from all of us,” Kirwan said.

And taken in a way that many people can’t understand.

“Everyone’s angry when they lose a loved on, but we also have to deal with the criminal justice system, which is re-victimization all over again,” she said.

For her, Memorial Day is the time for community remembering, and in her case, that community has expanded to include others grappling with the same type of grief, a group called Parents of Murdered Children.  Click here for more information.

“We’ve all felt the same things. It kind of makes you feel like you’re not going crazy,” Kirwan said.

She wonders whether her son’s killer is still alive, still out there and whether anyone will ever come forward about a gun battle that involved several cars and several people in them.

“That’s what scares me the most that they could put some other mother through what I’m going through,” she said.

There is a $30,000 reward for information in his case.  Anyone with information should contact the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

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