"DEATH OF A GOOD MAN" Aaron Hemingway - K F V S 12 2009 03 05

Grandmother of accused gunman puzzled by shootings

By Robert Kelly

The grandmother of a man accused of shooting and wounding two AmerenUE workers in Jackson, Mo., before killing himself said Saturday she had no idea why her grandson may have fired the shots.

Edith Hemingway of Perryville, Mo., is the grandmother of the accused gunman, Aaron C. Hemingway, 31, also of Perryville.

"He never had any problems with the law," she said in a telephone interview. "He was just an extra nice person."

Edith Hemingway said she didn't think Aaron Hemingway had been depressed or had held a grudge against anyone. "I've just been thinking about it all day," she said. "I don't know what might have caused it."

She said Aaron Hemingway had never married and had lived in Farmington, Mo., for a few years before returning a year or so ago to Perryville, where he grew up. She said he had worked at different jobs over the years and that he didn't recently have a full-time job.

Authorities were trying to determine a possible motive for the shootings.

The Ameren workers had been listed in stable condition on Friday. Information about their conditions was unavailable Saturday, at the request of their families.

The incident started about 9:30 a.m. Friday near Interstate 55 and Highway 61-34 in Jackson, about 90 miles southeast of St. Louis.

Jackson Police Chief James Humphreys said five Ameren employees were working near a substation when Hemingway drove up in a red Chevy S10 pickup, ordered two men down who were using bucket-truck lifts, opened fire with a shotgun and fled.

The workers were taken to St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau, Mo., police said. Both underwent surgery. Their names were not disclosed.

Alerted by a tip from someone listening to a police scanner, officers surrounded Hemingway's truck in Jackson about 20 minutes after he shot at the Ameren workers. He shot himself with the same weapon, Humphreys said, and died at the scene.

Investigators do not believe Hemingway knew his targets or was ever employed by Ameren.

rkelly@post-dispatch.com | 636-937-5615


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