AFFTON, Mo. (KMOX) – They’re coming with their young children. Some are leaving flowers or signs, and in one case, a patch from the Florissant Police Department. They stand silently. Some pray. Some walk away with tears in their eyes. They all question, “Why?”
The day after St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder was shot to death while answering a disturbance call, residents from South St. Louis County and beyond are stopping by the memorial outside the Affton-Southwest Precinct station to pay their respects.
Related story: Community Rallies Support for Officer Blake Snyder
Mourners have covered and surrounded a police car parked under a flag that flies at half-staff with flowers. Candles, both real and battery-powered, flicker on the ground next to it. Balloons bounce in the breeze. Hand-written signs thank officer Snyder, and all officers, for protecting them.
“It’s so moving,” says Ashley Luebbers,” all the stuff that people have taken their time out to bring.”
One woman, who brought her young daughter with her to deliver snacks for the officers, says she can’t look at the memorial without tearing up.
“This is one of the people that help protect us. It kind of hits everybody. It’s just really sad.”
Before dawn, Kathy Kohut stopped by on the way to work. Choking back tears, she shook her head.
“It makes me wonder,” she says, “why there’s so much crime today.”
Chris Kern simply stood in front of the memorial for a few minutes, and prayed.
“He was out protecting us. I was asking the good Lord to protect his family and help them through this time.”
The car-turned-memorial is parked right outside the door officers use to enter and exit the station. As they walked past on their way to their patrol cars to start their day, some stopped to look at the memorial, and the large portrait of their fallen fellow officer.
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