ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A St. Louis County police officer died after being shot in Green Park in south St. Louis County Thursday morning.
Blake Snyder, 33, had served four years with the St. Louis County Police Department. He leaves behind a wife and a 2-year-old son.
Snyder, who was assigned to the Affton Southwest Precinct, and another officer responded to a disturbance call just after 5 a.m. in the 10700 block of Arno Drive when the shooting occurred, a spokesperson for the department said.
Police said Trenton Forster, 18, opened fire “almost immediately upon the officer’s arrival,” striking Snyder point blank. Chief Jon Belmar said the wound was immediately fatal.
A second officer returned fire, striking Forster, who was listed in critical but stable condition Thursday.
Forster was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. He was being held on a $1 million bond. He attended Lindbergh High School but withdrew in May 2016. He lived on Sequoia Court in St. Louis, less than three miles from where the shooting happened.
Snyder was a 2001 graduate of Alton High School. Before becoming a police officer, he worked as a graphic designer at Destiny Church, where he met his wife, Elizabeth.
Jim Stern, the lead pastor of Destiny Church, said everyone loved working with Synder. He said Snyder was a naturally quiet guy who was creative and had a great sense of humor.
“He showed up every day and delivered what he said he was going to do," Stern said. "He made an incredible difference in so many people’s lives just by doing that."
Snyder also served on the board of Riverbend Family Ministries.
"His love for his family and friends was contagious and his commitment to the community he served was inspirational," said Tammy Iskarous, founder of the Wood River-based charity.
Snyder was the first officer with the St. Louis County Police Department to die in the line of duty in nearly 16 years.
The last officer killed with the department was Sgt. Richard Weinhold on Oct. 31, 2000.
Thursday's shooting marked the 10th death in the line of duty for the department and the second killing of a law enforcement officer nationally in less than 24 hours.
On Thursday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell called Wednesday's shooting death of a veteran sergeant in Lancaster, Calif., a “calculated execution.”
Sgt. Steve Owen was answering a burglary-in-progress call when he was gunned down.
At a news conference Thursday, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said 27-year-old Trenton Lovell shot Owen, then stood over his body and fired four more times. He said the man then searched Owen’s body, looking for the sergeant’s gun in order to shoot the first deputy who responded to the gunfire.
McDonnell said Lovell was shot in the shoulder while pointing a gun at a deputy.
Lovell was later arrested and jailed.
In Missouri, Chief Belmar said there were no dash cams or body cameras in use at the time of Snyder's shooting.
St. Louis County Police said tentative plans call for visitation next Wednesday and a funeral on Thursday.
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