Updated: Aug 17, 2021
In the early 2000s I spent a lot of time digging into my families history and pieces together my geology. Among the early hits were the names of my great-grandparents for whom I never met. My grandma Lu was the only child of two lower-middle class laborers during the great depression. Her father Lloyd was always a bit of a mystery to me as she never spoke of him.
I was able to track down his birth certificate (born on New Years Eve 1899 no less) and the circumstances of his death. It would appear that at the end he had a drinking problem and it lead to his demise. In his youth he lied about his age to serve in the army during WWI, later he worked as a door to door knife salesman and a cab driver.
Sadly not a lot else is known (by me anyway). I thought I would share the story of his last few moments found on a newspaper archive. I went by the address mentioned in this paper but the apartment complex was leveled in the 80s.
This is from the Kansas City Times, Saturday , December 30th 1961 edition (the day before his 62nd birthday).
"James Robert Wilson, the 15-year old boy who fatally shot a man yesterday as he tried to break down a door of an apartment at 2836 Forest avenue, was released last night. He is with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Wilson."
"The boy was taken to the home at 611 Brooklyn avenue after police took statements from him and others who were in the apartment house at the time Lloyd Howard Coo, 62, was shot in the stomach with a .303-caliber Enfield rifle."
"Cook, who lived in the apartment house, was a driver for the American Cab company. Wilson told police that Cook threatened to kill him just before entering the apartment where Wilson held the rifle."
"Miss Lynda Milum, 63. Cook's housekeeper, told police Cook had not worked since Wednesday because of heavy drinking."
"Miss Milum said Cook had been drinking for several days and had gone to the basement of the apartment house just before the shooting to ask Miss Milum who was with her there, Miss Milum fled."
"Mr. Cook is quarrelsome when he's been drinking," Miss Milum said, "By when he's not drunk, he's a nice fellow."
"Wilson's mother, Mrs. Lillie Mae Wilson, told police she happened to call her son at the apartment as Cook was attempting to break-in. The apartment belongs to Francis Lutz, who Wilson was visiting."
"During the conversation, Mrs. Wilson said her son told her a man was breaking, and left the phone, Mrs. Wilson said she had errands downtown and called her son back from a downtown store. A police officer answer and told of the shooting, she said."