ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – The parents of slain St. Louis County police officer Blake Snyder had a very emotional message to the public.
Before speaking to reporters Friday, Peggy and Dick Snyder visited St. Anthony’s Hospital to meet with the medical professionals and first responders who tried so hard to save Snyder’s life.
“You felt his last breath, heard his last heartbeat,” said Peggy Snyder. “I’m so grateful he didn’t have to die alone.”
“I needed to know who was with my son,” she later told reporters. “I needed to know who gave him the love and the compassion … and needed to know who held his hand when he died.”
Officer Snyder was shot and killed responding to disturbance in Affton on an early October morning. He was 33.
Blake Snyder left behind a wife, Elizabeth, and their son, Malachi, who was two years-old at the time. Snyder’s parents said the only things more relentless than the grief had been the support and the stories about their son’s impact on those who met him, including a man who was with Snyder in the ambulance.
“The change in his life, a major turnaround in his life, because of Blake’s influence,” said Dick Snyder said, reflecting on a conversation with that man.
“God says to me in small portions of time as we’re trying to go through things … it’s well. It’s well with my soul for this moment, for that time I got to be with them to know they were with my son, it makes me feel well with my soul,” Peggy said.
“When we saw Blake and realized he was dead, there was no question in our minds he was ok,” his father said.
According to them, he was a God-first police officer, husband, and father.
Amazingly, his little boy has memories of times with his father, like daddy showing him tree frogs. There have been signs of a connection that defies explanation. Like the lamp with a blue light at grandma and grandpa’s house.
“He’d grab Dick’s hand and say, ‘Come on, papa,’ and he leaves a space by the blue light for daddy,” Peggy said.
“Almost like he understands something we can’t comprehend,” Dick said.
“He’ll just sit there and he’ll look at the blue light … and that’s not something that we taught him,” Peggy said.
They planned to attend court proceedings for suspect 18-year-old Trenton Forster, who was charged with first-degree murder in Officer Snyder’s death. Forster remains jailed. There’s no set trial date, but a pretrial conference has been scheduled for July.