Metro-East News

Man accused of killing St. Louis County officer makes first court appearance

Officer Blake Snyder, a 2001 graduate of Alton High School, died in an early morning shootout Oct. 6 in south St. Louis County.
Officer Blake Snyder, a 2001 graduate of Alton High School, died in an early morning shootout Oct. 6 in south St. Louis County.

The man accused of killing St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder earlier this month made his first court appearance on Wednesday in St. Louis County Circuit Court.

Trenton E. Forster, 18, of St. Louis had an arraignment hearing in front of Judge Richard Stewart. His next scheduled court date is Dec. 6. Forster has been charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in connection with Snyder’s Oct. 6 death. Snyder was responding to a call in south St. Louis County around 5 a.m. when police said he was shot once in the chin. He died a short time later at a St. Louis hospital.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that no decision has been made by St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch on whether he will pursue the death penalty in Forster’s case. The Post-Dispatch reported that Forster was seated in a wheelchair for his mug shot and had been released from a St. Louis hospital on Wednesday. Forster had been shot by another St. Louis County police officer who responded to the scene where Snyder was shot.

Forster’s court appearance came on the same day that Snyder’s widow, Elizabeth, spoke with several St. Louis television stations. Elizabeth Snyder told KMOV about what the last two weeks have been like for her and her family.

Over the weekend, she posted a public post to her Facebook page, thanking the community for the outpouring of support.

A group of residents from Alton, which is where Snyder attended high school, has started a petition on change.org in an attempt to have Oct. 6 designated as “Hometown Hero Day” in Snyder’s honor.

“On this day, not only will we pay tribute to Officer Snyder and all that he sacrificed, but we will recognize a current member of our community that is serving as Blake would have served,” the petition reads. “The community, businesses, and schools should have their flags at half staff, encourage their members to wear tribute shirts or blue on that day, as well as be taking donations for Backstoppers.

“We would encourage schools to have a short assembly to teach their students about the importance of law enforcement and first responders, and how they are there to serve and protect.”

As of Wednesday night, more than 1,100 people have signed the petition, which is trying to gather 1,500 supporters.

Monetary support continues to funnel in for the Snyder family as well. According to KMOX, many restaurants on Nov. 1 will donate their proceeds to Snyder’s family. Donations can also be made through Backstoppers or the St. Louis County Police Welfare Association.

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