A Rolla man was murdered Tuesday in Kinloch and the man who allegedly pulled the trigger is behind bars.
Michael G. Cunningham, 38, of Rolla, an employee at Tomco Metals, was on a call when he was shot in the face.
Larry Wandrick, 28, of the 4700 block of Plover Avenue in St. Louis, was charged Wednesday with one count of first-degree murder, a Class A felony, and one count of armed criminal action after a lengthy standoff with police.
"He died helping the very people that killed him," said Stacie Nash, an administrative assistant at Tomco Metals. Nash said she couldn't comment any further about the specifics of the crime until the conclusion of the police investigation.
Warrants were issued for Wandrick after the St. Louis County Police Department Crimes Against Persons responded to assist the Kinloch Police Department on a homicide at the 8100 block of Gregory Drive where a man, later identified as Cunningham, was found deceased from a gunshot wound.
Police Officer Randy Vaughn, media relations officer with St. Louis County Police, said Cunningham knew Wandrick and were together on abandoned property.
"Something went wrong, there was a conflict and shots were fired," Vaughn said.
The investigation led officers to the 1700 block of Dowd Drive in Dellwood where Wandrick ran into the residence and barricaded himself inside as officers arrived.
The St. Louis County Tactical Operations Unit responded and, after a lengthy standoff, searched the residence in Dellwood and found the suspect hidden inside the trunk of a vehicle located at the residence. No bond was set for Wandrick.
Vaughn said the standoff lasted for about four hours. During the standoff, officers were able to safely remove a 2-year-old boy from inside the home on Dowd Drive.
"He was a kind man," said Nash. "Very, very kind. He would help anybody and everybody."
Nash said Cunningham had two children, Corey Cunningham, 18, and Christian "Bernice" Cunningham, 16.
"He was a devoted father," said Nash. "His greatest passion in the world was his children. I cannot explain to you what this has done to their family. He was their backbone. They depended on him for everyday life, it has devastated them."
Cunningham worked at Tomco Metals for more than a decade where he was described as a "go-to guy." He had a passion for junk cars and was described as an all-around good guy.
Cunningham grew up in Edgar Springs and lived there until he bought a house and moved to Rolla about four years ago.
"It is really difficult to put Mike into words," said Nash. "You know that guy on the side of the road because he had a flat tire? Well Mike was the guy that would stop and fix that flat tire.
Page 2 of 2 - "We know that if there was ever an angel, it was Mike," said Nash.