Residents Stop By Station to Pay Tribute to Officer Blake Snyder

Brian Kelly (@brpkelly)

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.

St. Louis County Police officers lower the American flag to half staff in Clayton, Missouri on October 6, 2016, after a press conference announcing that St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder was shot and killed. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar says that at 5:04 AM, St. Louis County Police officers responded to a call for a disturbance. Upon officers’ arrival, the suspect of the disturbance opened fire, striking Snyder. A second officer on scene returned fire, striking the suspect. The officer was 33 years old and had served St. Louis County for the past four years. This is the first line of duty death for the St. Louis County Police Department since October 31, 2000. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

St. Louis County Police officers lower the American flag to half staff in Clayton, Missouri on October 6, 2016, after a press conference announcing that St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder was shot and killed. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar says that at 5:04 AM, St. Louis County Police officers responded to a call for a disturbance. Upon officers’ arrival, the suspect of the disturbance opened fire, striking Snyder. A second officer on scene returned fire, striking the suspect. The officer was 33 years old and had served St. Louis County for the past four years. This is the first line of duty death for the St. Louis County Police Department since October 31, 2000. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI

“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.

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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