A former mayor of Bourbon says a man believed to have killed his two children before shooting himself in Springfield had been liked and respected years ago when he was Bourbon's top police official.

Mary Heywood was mayor of Bourbon between 1997 and 2006. She says William Williams had previously served as city marshal — the equivalent of a police chief in the community of about 1,500. She says Williams left Bourbon in 2006.

Another former mayor, Mark Nilges, tells the Springfield News-Leader that he had thought Williams was a friendly person.

Authorities say Williams on Monday fatally shot his 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. Police say the children likely were dead before officers ended a 23-hour standoff by entering Williams' apartment.


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