ALTON, IL (KTVI) – Friends, family and Alton community members gathered in the Public School Stadium Monday night for a candlelight vigil in honor of fallen St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder.
Snyder, who served as an officer for four years, was killed Thursday while responding to a disturbance call in South County. Those who knew him best say being a police officer was all he ever wanted to do.
"It’s unbelievable" said Snyder's childhood friend Ryan Durham. "He’s somebody who went into law enforcement later in life because he really wanted it. He really wanted to become an officer and help people" Durham said.
Monday's vigil featured remarks from a number of Snyder's close friends and high school classmates; those in attendance ranging from people who were close to Snyder and people who never met him.
"You never want this to happen to anybody but you especially don’t want it to happen to you" said Sgt. Matt Dover. "So when it happens to somebody else you feel it" he said.
"Blake was an amazing person he always had a smile on his face he was a genuinely nice guy. He was sort of a breath of fresh air in the halls" said classmate Missy Raley who helped organize the vigil.
At the end of the vigil, hundreds of blue and white balloons were released in Snyder's memory.
Funeral arrangements have been set for Wednesday and Thursday.