Gunman to trooper: "No police are going to stop me"
DENVER ” The man killed outside the governor’s office at the state Capitol last month had flashed his loaded .357 handgun at a state trooper and told him “No police are going to stop me,” according to an investigation by the Denver district attorney.
Trooper Jay Hemphill was cleared Friday of any wrongdoing by the Denver District Attorney.
Hemphill said he radioed in an emergency call and tried to step back from Aaron Snyder to keep a safe distance between them but Snyder moved toward him, according to the DA’s report.
Hemphill drew his gun, ordered in a loud voice “Stop ” State Patrol ” or I will kill you” but Snyder ignored him and Hemphill fired four shots in about three seconds, hitting Snyder three times in the chest and once in the head, the report said.
Hemphill later told investigators that he believed Snyder, who was bigger than him, could have killed him and Gov. Bill Ritter.
Moments before, Hemphill was summoned to the reception area and he had escorted Snyder, who was wearing a tuxedo, to the hallway outside the governor’s office.
According to the report, Snyder told Hemphill he was the emperor of the state and was there to take over and that “Abortion is an abomination.” He said Snyder also said something to the effect that he would do “whatever it takes.” Hemphill, who had dealt with other people who showed up at the governor’s office, said Synder appeared stoic and was “focused and determined”, the report said.
Hemphill went back to the receptionist desk, keeping his eye on Snyder, and grabbed a notepad and a pen to write down what Snyder was saying. He noticed Snyder was carrying the kind of ear muffs used at a gun firing range, and asked him if he had a gun. Snyder pulled back his jacket to show the gun sticking out of his right pants pocket, setting off the final chain of deadly events.
District Attorney Mitch Morrissey said Hemphill’s actions were legally justified and no criminal charges will be filed.
The report said that Snyder’s was .357 revolver was fully loaded with seven rounds. Thirteen more rounds were found in his left inside coat pocket. A Bible was found in his left pants pocket.
Snyder’s mother has told investigators he had been diagnosed as delusional and was being treated by a psychiatrist.
About three months before the shooting, Snyder started keeping a notebook about a plan to “deliver all the unborn children in this country ” Christendom.” He wrote that God had made him “lord governor of Christendom” and that, “It is my responsibility as sovereign ruler to stop abortion at once!”