Family and friends prepared to say goodbye to Marine Corporal Aaron Ripperda.
The 26-year-old Highland, Illinois native died in a training exercise in March in Nevada. A funeral Mass is set for this morning. Ripperda graduated from Highland High School in 2005.
The Westboro Baptist Church announced they would picket at the funeral. They would protest what they call, “a nation of sodomites and hypocrites”.
And the body of Aaron Ripperda is coming home Monday.
His remains will arrive at Lambert Airport between 2:30 PM and 3:00 PM and then be taken to his hometown of Highland, Illinois. Lambert Airport Police, Missouri Highway Patrol, Illinois State Police and, The Patriot Guard will escort Ripperda's body to Highland.
A funeral Mass for 26-year-old Cpl. Aaron Ripperda will be held April 3 at 10 a.m. at St. Paul Catholic Church in his hometown of Highland, east of St. Louis.
Ripperda was a 2005 graduate of Highland High School and enlisted in the Marines three years later. His father says his son expected to return home for good in May and attend Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.
The father of Aaron Ripperda says plans are being made to have the wake for his 26 year old son in Highland, Illinois. Kent Ripperda says a funeral Mass will be held at St. Paul's Catholic Church, but plans won't be finalized until there's word about when his son's body will be returned.
Ripperda was killed Monday during an explosion at the Hawthorne Army Depot. The 2005 Highland High School graduate was two months from ending his tour of duty with the Marines.
Meridith Funeral Home in Highland is handling arrangements.
District 118 will lay off six teachers and 20 staff members. The state of Illinois owes the district nearly two-million dollars.
In Highland, several teachers are being let go, but the specifics haven't been released.
Earlier this week, officials with Belleville District 201 and the Collinsville School District announced layoffs.
Fifty-five year old Debbie Keeny told police that she'd stepped outside for a smoke and when she turned to go back inside, a man forced his way into her apartment. She says he pushed her to the floor and then attacked her sister, 47 year old Donna Carlyle. The man reportedly choked Carlyle and demanded money.
Keeny says she grabbed her derringer pistol and warned the man that she'd shoot if he didn't let go of her sister. The man didn't stop, so she fired a warning shot. When he still didn't let go, she shot him in the back.
Police say the 33 year old suspect, a man from Troy, Illinois, is in critical condition with two gunshot wounds.
Police believe robbery was the motive, since several of the sister's neighbors at the Senior Plaza Apartments report hearing someone jiggle their doorknobs shortly before the attack.