Irons’ story takes tragic turn
Floyd Irons and Veronica O’Brien

O’Brien has security detail

By Alvin A. Reid

Of the St. Louis American

In what is being called a “violent coincidence,” a man planning to sue former Vashon High School basketball coach Floyd Irons for injuries he alleged happened in an altercation six years ago was gunned down early Friday by three assailants.

Timothy Bacon, 21, was shot repeatedly at 1:45 a.m. Friday while walking to a store to purchase cigarettes.

Witnesses say one of the men then walked up to Bacon’s motionless body and shot him twice after the hail of bullets felled him.

Jerome Dobson, Irons’ attorney, told the American that his client has not been contacted by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in connection with the slaying.

“No one from the police department has talked to either of us in connection with this senseless crime,” he said.

“It’s a terrible situation. We feel for the victim’s family.”

Irons did not know of the pending lawsuit, according to Dobson.

On Saturday, Irons was enshrined into the St. Louis Gateway Classic Sports Foundation’s Walk of Fame, and on Monday he attended a court hearing. Irons is a plaintiff in a lawsuit to remove SLPS Board of Education member William Purdy from his post.

“Our argument is simple,” Dobson said following Monday’s hearing.

“The SLPS says you can’t run for school board if you have relatives working in the district. Purdy had several relatives working for the district” (when he ran in April 2005).

Irons and supporter Demetrious Johnson had also been in court two weeks ago at a hearing in which board president Veronica O’Brien sought a restraining order against the two men. She said she has been threatened since Irons’ dismissal in July and that protestors at her home intimidated her son, who was with her in a car when she returned home one evening.

A judge denied her request. But she now has a 24-hour-a-day security detail at a cost to the impoverished district of $20,000 per month. Diana Bourisaw, SLPS interim superintendent, made that request out of concern for O’Brien’s safety.

O’Brien recently sought to have the past incident involving Irons and Bacon re-examined by federal authorities. A state Division of Social Services report called for an assault charge against Irons, but he won an appeal against that recommendation.

Former board member Amy Hilgemann has spoke of the Feb. 16, 2000 incident on several area radio stations, following Irons’ firing and the resulting furor.

Those actions thrust Bacon into the media spotlight. Now his execution-style murder days before his lawsuit was to be filed has caused a buzz of conversation and speculation throughout the city.

Bacon’s father, Roger Bacon, called the murder “an execution” in the Post-Dispatch.

Bacon, who was a special education student when the incident occurred in 2000, was charged with assault following the fracas with Irons.

Last April, he was charged with resisting arrest for allegedly violating a restraining order filed by the mother of one of his two children.

Bacon’s attorney, Anthony Bruning, said the suit would have sought damages from the SLPS Board of Education and Irons.

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