MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. -- A part-time janitor charged with fatally shooting a supervisor inside a crowded suburban St. Louis community center stopped taking medication to treat his bipolar disorder weeks before opening fire after he was sent home for using profanity, according to search warrants.
Michael Honkomp, 30, had been prescribed lithium but told a 60-year-old co-worker that he had stopped taking his medication before last month 's shooting at the Maryland Heights Community Center, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The shooting killed 45-year-old Maria Lucas, a customer service representative who was working the front desk while also serving as the acting supervisor.
The co-worker also told police that Honkomp grew angry with Lucas because she “corrected him for using profanity over the community center radios,” and asked Honkomp to leave work for the day, the search warrant said.
Honkomp then got his coat from the employee locker room, went to the front desk and was recorded on video shooting the victim "in the facial area at point blank range,” the warrants said.
About 150 people were in the community center, many of them children, when the gunfire erupted. A patron ran out and found a uniformed officer in the parking lot. The officer ran into the building and wounded Honkomp in a gun battle in which more than 40 rounds were exchanged. The officer wasn't hurt.
Police seized a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol, which Honkomp is accused of using, at the scene along with two ammunition magazines.
Honkomp, who remains hospitalized, is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree assault on a special victim, resisting arrest and three counts of armed criminal action. No attorney is listed for him in online court records.
His father, Joseph Honkomp, told detectives his son also had been diagnosed in high school with Asperger’s syndrome, the warrants said.
Maryland Heights police chief Bill Carson previously declined to say why the janitor was being sent home or if Lucas was involved in the decision. She was buried last weekend along with her father, who died about a week later from heart and kidney problems.