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Feb. 14 shooting a felony, coroner's jury rules

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cape Girardeau police investigated the scene following a fatal shooting at 2857 Themis St. on Feb. 14.
(Aaron Eisenhauer)
Edith Snyder clutched a blue vinyl binder filled with thoughts about and mementos of her dead son and let out a little cry as Coroner John Clifton carefully read the verdict that her son's shooting was a crime.

The three-man, three-woman jury deliberated for an hour before finding that Steven R. Julian, a state fugitive investigator, committed a felony when he shot Zachary C. Snyder in the back while attempting to make an arrest Feb. 14 at an apartment complex on Themis Street.

After the jury returned the verdict, Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle said he would decide whether to seek criminal charges against Julian by noon today.

Julian testified at the inquest, held Tuesday night at the Cape Girardeau Common Pleas Courthouse, that he drew his service weapon issued to him by the Department of Corrections, a Glock 22 .44-caliber semiautomatic handgun, as he stepped out of the car to arrest Snyder for a parole violation.

He probably would have relied on his Taser instead had it been daytime, but the time of night and the neighborhood convinced him to draw his firearm instead, he testified.

"It occurred so fast," he said, recounting for the jury how he identified himself to Snyder, asked him to place his hands on his vehicle and prepared to put handcuffs on him.

Then, Snyder's compliance ended, and he made a sudden, jumping motion that Julian perceived as an attack, he testified.

"I was the only one there, and I really believed he was going to attack me," he said.

He couldn't see the left side of Snyder's body, and did not know whether he had a weapon, he testified.

In his seven and a half years as an investigator with the Department of Corrections, Julian said, he'd never been involved in a situation where he'd had to discharge his gun before, but this time he did, striking Snyder in the back.

A forensic pathologist testified that Snyder died of a single gunshot wound that penetrated his left shoulder blade, lungs and part of his heart.

Julian had gone to the apartment complex to serve the warrant after a friend of Zachary Snyder's, Leslie Tyler, alerted him that Zachary Snyder was there. Snyder would have returned to the Department of Corrections for violating the conditions of his parole on charges of stealing a car and possession of controlled substances related to methamphetamine.

Tyler testified he saw Zachary Snyder place his hands on Julian's car, then suddenly yank free and turn to run.

"That's when I heard fire," he testified.

Surrounded by friends and supporters at the back of the courtroom, Edith Snyder was the last witness jury members heard from before they retired. She ended her testimony talking about the blue book, what it meant to her that her son's teachers and school friends worked to compile it.

Zachary Snyder had a side that didn't show much, she said.

"Zachary has never been violent," she said. "The only person he ever hurt in his life was himself."

To close her testimony, Snyder read from a school paper. "Giving love is greater than any riches in the world," she said, then reading her son's name and date before closing the covers.


335-6611, extension 245

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Nice lies by the shooter. Never heard of anyone attacking with their back turned towards the target. The jury didn't buy that lie either.

-- Posted by heye1967 on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 1:35 AM

What is there for Morley Swingle to decide. He should charge him with ist degree murder. If this guy wasn't a state employee swingle wouldn't give a second thought to charging him. If it were any of us ordinary citizens we would have been jailed immediately. If this man isnt charged mr. swingle needs to lose his job.

-- Posted by scottcitylady on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 1:37 AM

This is a growing trend. Police are often to quick to react. Like the woman who was beatin up because she felt she was being wrongly arrested. When she questioned the authority she was hauled out of her car and taserd untill she died.

It seems to me that SOME cops feel they can do what ever they want, and are somehow above everyone else. It seems to be getting worse all over. Often times they are quick to taser people who are really no threat at all. Or shoot someone because they try to run. Was he too lazy to chase the guy? This is just sad. And it makes good cops who are there to do the job right, look bad also. It's no wonder so many people are scared of the police now a days. You'll get hauled in, then beat up by a cop because you smart off. We are told it is a free country, and you have the right to remain silent, but we're not given the right to scream.

We'll see now if Morley Swingle is soft on this killer. He was very hard on the kid in Jackson, will this guy get the same for actually killing someone? Or will he get off scott free just because he works for the state. I say he is a killer and should be locked up. He didn't have to shoot that guy. He made that choice because as he said "It occurred so fast". We'll didn't he have training for this kind of event? Many cops face things like this all the time and don't shoot someone.

He said "the neighborhood convinced him to draw his firearm" What? He was on Themis St by the park. NOT South Sprigg on a friday night. He got out of his car, with his gun ready. Not his taser, but his gun. He planned, and was ready to shoot someone. Then he shot an unarmed man in the back! And hit him in the "lungs and part of his heart" that is a shot to kill. That is not a shot to stop someone from running. You see fugitives run all the time on Fox's Cops Tv Show. The cops chase the bad guys, catch them, and hand cuff them. And toss em in Jail.

I don't know any of these people, And don't get me wrong. I totally respect true police officers who are here to protect and serve. We need good officers, who show basic respect to the people the have to deal with. But just because a guy has some kind of a badge does not make him somehow super human.

Crap, I'll most likely get arrested now for speaking out.

-- Posted by timexx on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 1:38 AM

Sadly I'm sure Morley will charge the man with 2nd degree murder, it will probably plea down to manslaughter.

In my not so humble opinion, the shooting was clearly not murder, at least not murder in the 1st degree.

The jury had a huge advantage...they had hours to consider what the officer had to decide in a split second. Everyone here writing the negative comments about the officer needs to take a step back.

To quote a famous line,... its a hell of a thing to kill a man, you take everything he has and everything he ever will...

In this case... the killing was a mistake, but not murder.

Morley, I urge you to pass on charges in this situation. Or at least consider what your Dad would say?

-- Posted by Coach on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 1:55 AM

whatever! killing is murder! You shot someone, they die. it's murder.

-- Posted by timexx on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 2:06 AM

Charlie Manson never really KILLED anyone. But what do you think of him?

-- Posted by timexx on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 2:11 AM

I have been sitting back reading These comments not saying anything til all the facts and the agent had a chance to voice his reason for this shooting, Now I feel like I would like to say what I think even though it doesnt solve anything. When I young (years&Years ago) sometimes us kids would sneak our brother or sister car and go joyriding sometimes we would get together and sneak and drink. Some of the kids would do drugs , but I guess the good lord look over us and kept us safe. I guess if we would of got caught we could of been booked for car thief since we didnt have permission to take the car and im sure the beer and pot would of landed us in court. This case made me look back at those days because I seen nothing that this boy did that would warrant a death sentence like this guy gave him. If this guy was so afraid that he had to pull his gun why did he not wait for the police to get there? It makes no sense to me , it sounds to me in reality the agent wasnt afraid for his life he was afraid this boy would run and he darn well wasnt going to let him get away from him! No this agent broke the law he took a young man's life from him. Alot of people on here this week said they thought this boy got what he deserves that he made the wrong choices in life and now he paid for them. Well this agent made his own choice not to wait for the police and broke the law when he pull the gun and did the worse crime I believe you can do when he decided to kill this young man so he wouldnt run and yes it is murder no matter how you look at it and no one made him pull that trigger beside his decision that he wasnt going to let that boy run. I firmly believe he now should pay for his crime and action . I'm sure his family will be hurt but what about this boys loved ones and children & the tears they are shedding. At least the agents family can still visit and write to him, this young boy's family will only have memories.

-- Posted by Missouri Grandma on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 3:14 AM

Ok, everyone take a second for a timeout before posting something really stupid.

Took that second?

Good, now..Did Zach "deserve" to die? no. No!(no doubt no question) His mother and father are now without their son. His child and one on the way are without a father.

Did the Probation Officer intend on shooting Zach? No. C'mon guys and gals. Does anyone really think that Julian woke up one morning and plotted out the "murder" of a criminal with an outstanding warrant?

Zach wasn't thinking right, bucked up, started to think about running, and made all the right moves to make Julian think that Zach was going to harm him.

Julian acted on a split second.

I'm sure a fraction on a second that is now 20/20 hindsight.

I challenge Bridget and Rudi to use the sunshine law to view all of the "public" police reports on Zachary C. Snyder. Julian had that intel in mind when he went to that dark Themis Street address.

-- Posted by MOJO_at_SEMO on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 5:30 AM

Good job, SEMissourian: I'm betting ya'll just got Leslie Tyler killed; or at least, changed her life.

If Swingle charges, I'm hoping for a full acquittal. This was not Murder.

-- Posted by OlderEagle on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 6:07 AM

wow..shooting someone in the back is a cold thing to do .

-- Posted by ..Rick on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 6:07 AM

Attacking by running away??/no,, I won't swallow that pill,, that State Fellow was just to chicken on his own, so he decides to shot the other man,, Shooting someone in the back while running away is murder,, isn't it??

-- Posted by homerdean on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 6:11 AM

I was actually surprised when the jury handed down their decision. I admire and applaud the courage and perspicacity of these six citizens. In light of this, I am willing to await Mr. Swingle's decision before I listen to the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

On a side note, hey timexx, it was good to see you in print again. Long live Drivin Rain, Black Oak, Jimi Hendrix, and Neil Young & Crazy Horse.

-- Posted by hydrox411 on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 6:19 AM

Firing a gun in the city limits to arrest a prior non-voilent individual is unexcussable. What if the bullet would of missed the boy and hit an innocent bystander. That area is full of apartments. No telling where the bullet ended up at. Alot of government employees these days think they are above the law and do not have any rules to abide by.

-- Posted by cape_resident on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 6:23 AM

Swingle will only push for murder if he thinks he can get a book deal out of it. He'll probably call it "Hot Lead of Cape Girardeau."

-- Posted by jakebanzai on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 6:24 AM

If the punk kid would have put his hands behind his back and let him put the cuffs on, he'd still be alive and the agent would have done his job.

-- Posted by Rubbermaid on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 6:27 AM

Everyone saw the action. No one heard the words exchanged between the two. What do bullys usually say to their victims? The actions in the case are by an extremely large officer of the state vs a smaller non-violent criminal. If anyone was afraid, I'd say it was the smaller of the two. Although he may be able to justify his actions to himself and a few others there are witnesses that say otherwise.

Once again a jury of common people heard the evidence presented and ruled. Unless you sit on the jury or were present as evidence was given, your opinion is only that: an opinion. And like some parts of the anatomy, some stink.

-- Posted by KingsKid on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 6:48 AM

I don't understand why Mr. Swingle should have to delay in making a decision. A jury has already found that a felony was committed. If it was a grand jury they would have returned an indictment and you could go straight to the circuit court. A coroner's inquest was a cop out, in this case emphasis on cop, for Swingle. He was hoping that they came back with no felony so he could hide behind that. If Morley had any sense of discretion he wouldn't have prosecuted the young woman for careless and imprudent driving when she had a car accident and killed her sister.

If we look at the law Murder in the second degree is

565.021. 1. A person commits the crime of murder in the second degree if he:

(1) Knowingly causes the death of another person or, with the purpose of causing serious physical injury to another person, causes the death of another person; or ...

This seems to fit the facts as presented by the paper. Even if we take the facts as a whole, the neighborhood, the person being taken in to custody this still fits within the definition of involunatry manslaughter...

565.024. 1. A person commits the crime of involuntary manslaughter in the first degree if he or she:

(1) Recklessly causes the death of another person;

I don't see how Swingle can not charge Mr. Julian. It may be sad and I feel bad for his situation and living with the results of his actions (reckless at least) but this does not put him above the law.

-- Posted by Tom_Grey on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 7:27 AM

This guy had a long history of crime, and who knows when someone will become violent?? This guy chose crime over always doing the right thing. The parents in the court room gaining sympathy makes me sick! Reading something this guy wrote when he was in school has no bearing on what he became! The teachers, and faculty that used to know this guy, may not have known that he was a criminal. I know that they were upset about losing their child, but if they had of been teaching their son that Crime can lead not only to jail, but getting yourself killed, perhaps this guy would still be around. Or, perhaps they did try and teach him, and again he would not listen, and this is the result?? He chose his own destiny by choosing to be a CRIMINAL! And so many on here are attacking Morley Swingle because they know this guy was a Criminal, and they want to make out like the officer involved is a criminal too, which Morley clearly does not see him as. I would think that Morley sees this as a tragedy, but not a criminal infraction, but who knows what Mr. Swingle is thinking, we are not him and do not have so much riding on our shoulders every day? The ones pushing so hard for this guy to be prosecuted, are most likely friends or family of the guy that was killed, and possibly Criminals too!

-- Posted by Lady_bug on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 7:35 AM

Well I have to say I did not see this coming. I'm pretty torn on if I believe the officer deserves to be punished or not. I know there are cops out there who should not be cops, but I can also understand how he might have been thinking in that moment. I feel the need to comment on something that timexx said:

"He said "the neighborhood convinced him to draw his firearm" What? He was on Themis St by the park. NOT South Sprigg on a friday night."

I mean no disrespect, but have you ever been to this neighborhood at night? I lived there for quite a few years, until just recently, and was terrified for my safety on a daily basis. It IS a bad neighborhood. That does not justify an officer being trigger happy, but I just wanted to make that point.

-- Posted by CapeRes on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 7:40 AM

Sad story, but the jury has made their decision. At best the charge will be manslaughter. I think it will be difficult to get 12 people to convict this guy, six was much easier.

This should give people faith in our system though. A member of law enforcement cannot act in an irresponsible way and get away with it.

-- Posted by momann45 on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 7:51 AM

One "gangsta" dead. One officer going to jail for defending himself.


-- Posted by Mosely on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 8:06 AM

cape_resident: This was the first time this officer pulled his weapon, ever. And, he didn't miss.

Stop being a purveyor of doomsday scenarios.

-- Posted by OlderEagle on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 8:11 AM

"and he made a sudden, jumping motion". Not a smart thing to do when someone has a gun drawn and trying to handcuff you. The shooting didn't necessarily need to happen but it's one of the drawbacks of the job - the job of a DOC officer as well as the job of a criminal. I don't condone what the officer did but I certainly can see how it could happen.

The fact that this young man was unarmed doesn't automatically make it murder in the first, after all, we kill 4000 unborn babies a day and NONE of them are "packin".

-- Posted by malan on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 8:12 AM

All of you that are talking trash about this poor boy should be ashamed of yourselves.

Mosely - You are a sad little person for saying what you said. Since when it is ok for a law inforcement person to EVER take the law in there own hands. Zach had a record, YES, no body is disputing this but he was NO gangster. He had only been in trouble 2 times. Once for drugs and once for stealing a car which if you think about it probley go hand in hand. Does that mean he deserved to die. I hope that murdering bastered get 30 years just like that Jackson kid did. My brother in law went all threw school with Zach and said he was a model student on the honor roll and his mother is a teacher and his family was very active in the comunity and are really great people. He got mixed up with the wrong people after school and now his life has a tragic ending because of it. I agree that he should not have tried to run but he was at that apt. to say by to a friend before turning himself in anyway (from what I heard). He probley got spooked, like most young adults would when faced with going to jail. His 1st. reaction was to run and he ended up with a bullet in his back. He was not armed. Whatever happened to the cops actually running after the suspect. I guess they have all just gotten too lazy. Now all you see is how they are tazoring people to death and beating up people and now even going to the extream of shooting them. What is wrong with law enforcement today?

-- Posted by deesalt on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 8:22 AM

Please do not ever use the term "non-violent criminal" again. Anybody can become violent at any time. Especially a criminal.

You have to understand that if a person has a warrent out for their arrest and doesnt turn themselves in, then they are basically fleeing arrest. When this officer went into that situation he knew that this person is willing to do anything to keep from being arrested. Whether it is a bad area or not, the officers #1 concern is his own life. He went into a situation that he knew was dangerous. The victim probably knew that the officer had a gun on him or even that the officer had it out. The officer said that he pulled the gun out immediately after he got out of the car.

I do not agree that he should have been shot, but as a criminal you must understand that the police caught you at this point and to surrender. The witness said that he tried to run. When you make that decision you know that you are probably going to be tackeld hard to the ground, tasered, or even shot at. So you know the risk that you are taking when fleeing the cops.

Elizabeth, you are correct about these blogs being our opinions. What do you call it when a Jury makes their decision. Is that not an opinion. They all believed in the same thing. But it is still their opinion on how they veiwed the evidence. What else do you call it? Fact? Well who really knows if that is a factual decision.

This is not a 1st degree murder case because the officer did not pre-meditate the killing. IMO opinion it is not 2nd degree murder because he didnt knowingly try to kill the individual. Yes their is serious harm, but you will not get a guilty verdict, because of the "knowingly" fact. My guess would be invol manslaughter, OR Felony Murder which is a crime in the state of Missouri. You cant bash Morley Swingle. He has to do research to see if there is has been another case like this before and their was a ruling on the case. He has to make sure that the crime fits the statute. If you Call someone to meet you and you have a loaded gun ready to shoot them then it is easy to prosecute. This case is no where near the criminal degree of the Jackson case. Sorry so long

-- Posted by HeHateMeToo on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 8:23 AM

It's sickening how people will defend someone with a badge against a criminal no matter what they do. "If he wasn't a criminal he wouldn't have got shot." If the officer in question wasn't incompetent, gutless or sadistic he would not have killed the kid. What if he had the wrong guy? What if the kid didn't believe it was a legit officer? There are a million what if's, and they all boil down to the fact that the officer did not need to discharge his weapon and shoot this kid in the back. People with any experience with SEMO know that if there was ANY plausible justification for this shooting, the jury would have found in favor of the officer. The fact they didn't speak VOLUMES about the circumstances and dubious rationale of the shooter. If the officer had not been found at fault, the people defending him without reason would be crowing that the system works. Why is the system broken because the jury found he was at fault? There are a lot of people in this area that need to take a long look in the mirror.

-- Posted by heye1967 on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 9:00 AM

And I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for Swingle to charge this guy. It's just as likely as not he won't be charged.

-- Posted by heye1967 on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 9:01 AM

OK, I'm just going to say this...I have family in law enforcement and I have also had family on the wrong side of the law by making poor choices and spending time in prison and on probation.

I am saddened for Zach's family. I understand (to some extent) how devestating it is to try to reach out to a family member that continues to make the wrong choices. The only difference is, my family members stepped up and took their punishment and are now productive citizens in the community.

Regardless, I am sorry for your loss. No one can understand and feel the pain as you will for years to come.

On the flip side, I don't think there are many of us who put our lives on the line each time we dress for work -- knowing that we chose to! I respect and solute the police for the work that they do for the little pay that they receive. Often they are not appreciated because they are trying to enforce laws to PROTECT us and to top it off they are one of the least paid professions out there! I hate this for the officer. I hate that he has to pay the price for making a split second decision....that (we don't know) could have turned out totally differnt in many ways...one of which, harming him. Am I condoning pulling the trigger? Not really....I don't know what I would've done and I bet that most folks on here really don't know what they would've done if they put themselves in the officers shoes.

Lastly, I hope Mr. Swingle will study this case long and hard...because I am sure the officer is punishing himself enough already....and if being a police officer is in his blood - the worst punishment is taking the badge!

-- Posted by so_tired on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 9:01 AM

shelby79, I have been at the neighborhood at night, and I was not concerned for my safety. I would also like to add that they are very nice apartments. However, if a man jumped out of his car at night, and came towards me with a pistol I would be very frightened. It wasn't the neighborhood carrying guns it was the agent. Let's not confuse it. By the way, when I visit the neighborhood it is very well lit up!

What are the agents trained for if they are not trained to deal with run away fugitives? Is that not the whole point of their training?!

Are you telling me that it is better to take a life than wait for back up if he felt the neighborhood a danger?! *rolls eyes* Right! Sugar coat it for him. Everybody ELSE should have suffer his choice of consequences, because he was on payroll with regular vacation plans and insurance when he did his crime!!! Badge or no Badge he was wrong.

-- Posted by cabingirl on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 9:03 AM

Before you close your mind to "never heard anyone attacking with their back turned towards the target", think about where the bullet went through the body. The article said it traveled through his shoulder blade, then his lung, then part of his heart. A direct shot in the back would only go through one of these parts. It is evident the victim was turning towards the shooter and the shooter shot when he was almost sideways. Sideways is the only way the bullet could have traveled across the body that way.

I hate that somone died but let this be a warning to everyone else out there - when a cop draws his gun, you better do exactly what he says. I would much rather hear the story this way than hearing this criminal attacked an officer, stole his gun, shot the officer, then shot the informant, stole another car, then took off.

-- Posted by cal on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 9:18 AM


Tough. No one is above the law and simply taking a badge is not punishment for what appears to be manslaughter.

The victim was shot in the back. End of story.

Wearing a badge means nothing if you cannot conduct yourself within the bounds of the law like everyone else.

-- Posted by Ike on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 9:19 AM

Yesterday, most readers KNEW the system was rigged and the 'dirty cop' was going to get off. Now that this inside knowledge has been proved false, the story changes.

All of this judging and so-called knowing would be funny if it weren't so vicious. Some of the posters being the meanest are ones who have whined on other threads about other people jumping to conclusions and judging without all the facts and stereotyping.

-- Posted by pattim on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 9:19 AM

Yesterday, most readers KNEW the system was rigged and the 'dirty cop' was going to get off. Now that this inside knowledge has been proved false, the story changes.

All of this judging and so-called knowing would be funny if it weren't so vicious. Some of the posters being the meanest are ones who have whined on other threads about other people jumping to conclusions and judging without all the facts and stereotyping.

-- Posted by pattim on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 9:19 AM

so_tired: "Lastly, I hope Mr. Swingle will study this case long and hard...because I am sure the officer is punishing himself enough already....and if being a police officer is in his blood - the worst punishment is taking the badge!"

NO! THE WORSE PUNISHMENT IS "NOT" TAKING HIS BADGE! Good God, it would be his kids not kissing him. It would be HIM not having time to make ammends with age! Him not getting a hug. Spear me your thoughts it makes me sick to my stomache!

He made the CHOICE of not waiting for back up that was already on the way. He made the choice to shoot the victim from the back. They make guidelines for EVERY badge. That doesn't exclude "THIS" agent. Don't try to make this about all police enforcement. Don't white wash what THIS AGENT did. I have law enforcement in my family as well, and to try to justify THIS AGENT by using all law as his back up NOW when he did not literally use it before is sad! Don't make citizens afraid of all law enforcement, because ONE agent BROKE THE LAW.

"What if" Steven Julian.. would have chose to study Zach's case better? He would have known that there was no pretense for Zach to hurt him. He was never arrested for assault towards an officer. What if Steven Julian in his 'split second' choice would have been patient, and he would have waited for the proper law enforcement?! We could 'what if' about his living life all day. The fact is, Steven Julian forced Zach to pay both of their consequences.

-- Posted by cabingirl on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 9:26 AM

Wow ...Ok ...how could you feel like your safety was on the line ....if his back was turned because he was RUNNING ....ooooooooooook ...If he was RUNNING away from you ....You were not in danger DUH ....good job jury !!!! And now all of a sudden ...He was making a '' jumping motion '' toward you? ...Had that been the case ....You would have shot him in the front of his body or in the side ...NOT HIS BACK

-- Posted by CocoaDippedPrettyLips on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 9:29 AM

love politics: Stick to the facts. Stop deciding what would of happened without even knowing Zach. The law is enforced for everybody. If you studied Zach's case like you're nick describes you studying politics you wouldn't be so quick to judge. You'd have love for the whole case. The truth, the whole TRUTH & nothing but the truth. The agent broke the law. Don't use Zach as an example - he lost his life. Use Steven Julian as an example, because he jumped the gun. Nobody is born a criminal. They become a criminal from breaking the law. Now Steven Julian has broke the law. He is now a criminal. Nobody is happy that the agent broke the law, and nobody is happy a 23 year old lost his life over a missed parole. This agent is NOT an officer He is a Criminal! Let's hope the law protects us from HIM now.

-- Posted by cabingirl on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 9:34 AM

Wow. Here we go. Not a one of you actually knows what happened that evening on Themis Street, and yet the lynch mobs are out in full force. There are actually three who truly know what happened. One is dead, one is accused of a crime, one is He Who Knows And Sees All - God. None of the witnesses know what was in the hearts and minds of the officer or the young man. Neither do any of you. I even doubt any of you have ever been in a situation similar - either as an officer or as the fugitive. I know I have not. The witnesses only know what they remember seeing. Seen and remembered, no doubt, through a fog of horror and shock, and maybe some bias against police officers. The inquest apparently felt there was enough evidence to warrant their verdict that a crime was committed. Exactly what the crime was has yet to be determined. We should all respect the decision of the inquest, because, unless you were at the inquest, you have not seen all the evidence that was presented. The DA will, indeed, have to look at the evidence and determine exactly how to proceed - this ain't Cops or Law and Order, it's not all going to happen in a sixty-minute commercial-filled time frame. As for there not being any way someone attacking you could be shot in the back - oh, yes there is. Think it through - logically, putting your misconceptions aside. What if, say he made a sudden move towards the officer to throw him off, then turned to run and it was in that split second that the weapon discharged, striking him in the back. Unless you have fired this particular model of weapon, you do not know how the trigger action responds. Perhaps the officer panicked. Perhaps he is lying to cover his rear end. Was death too high a price for this young man to pay? Yes. Will anything be served by railroading someone who may have made a mistake? No. Point is we'll never truly know, but if it goes to trial, and I believe it will, a jury of 12 will decide, based upon the evidence presented. That decision, too, we must all live with.

-- Posted by LittleMac on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 9:40 AM

What part of "your under arrest, don't move" is so hard to understand?

Do I have to say "U busta move, I busta cap"

or doesn't the gun in my hand speak for itself? Feeling lucky? Well do ya punk?

-- Posted by EZ Rider on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 9:43 AM

while any death is sad- this officer was simply doing his job to the best of his abilities and trying not to be sent home in a casket. hopefully swingle will make a wise decision and let him go. i, for one, appreciate the cops and truly believe he was doing his job.

-- Posted by afreeman on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 9:59 AM

To the people that said some law enforcement officers seem as though they are above the law,(the same laws we have to respect or be called criminals) YES they do. (Some of them) This kid didn't attack the officer, but was running and the officer didn't like it, and he showed him didn't he. The officer never thought he would get in trouble for this. He thought he was doing an "Atta Boy". Well he didn't and I hope the book gets thrown at him like would happen to one of us. The only sad thing is that the courts won't decide to make him die, like he decided for this young man.

-- Posted by MsLin@home on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 10:11 AM

The fact at this point is not what WE think. But what the coroner's jury said. And they said Steven R. Julian was guilty of a felony shooting. He should do time. And should be in jail right now. I don't think this officer dissevers the death penalty. But he had better do some time, or I will lose what little faith I have left in this system.

Or he should at the least get the same time as the kid in Jackson got. I'm not for or against Morley Swingle. I've never met him, or had any personal dealing with him. (Thank God) But I feel if his stance on gun violence is as strong as he said they were on KFVS. Then he will deal out justice equally. Not be harsh on one and easy on the other.

If Officer Julian felt threatened to be in that neighborhood. He should have came with back up. If he felt the guy was going to run,he should have called the Cape PD and had them park cops all over the place. When the guy did run, he should have jumped back in his car and called for backup. They would have tracked him down, beat him up, thrown him in a cell, and charged him with fleeing. He would have done more time for running. Isn't this what they would have done if they were going to bust someone for pot? They would show up with 50 cops and a dog. If this officer truly felt he was in danger right from the start. Why didn't he call for back up. But instead he got out of his car with his gun ready, and decided to deal with this man in his own way. He must have felt he was a super cop and needed no backup. Then decided he was the judge and jury and shot the guy in the back.

In no way is shooting someone in th back right. It is dishonorable to both people. Ask a soldier, or ask a cowboy. You just dont shoot someone in the back.

It seems this officer was mad and was a hot head. When the guy ran, he got mad and shot him dead. Not in the leg, or hip, or foot, or shoulder. He shot him in the back threw the heart and lung. This is a death shot. Everyone can see that.

Remember folks I'm a metal head, so I'm all for some death and destructions. But I feel if we are expected to look at these officers as a high authority, then they should act accordingly. And if they mess up they should be dealt with harshly. I don't care if it's a cop, a politician, a preacher, or a boy scout leader. When they act up and do bad. They should be held responsible.

OK, say, a guy is sitting in his car at Wal-Mart. Another man walks up to the car and the man inside feels threatened. SO,he gets out a gun and shoot the guy in the back. What would the verdict be? If a drunk plows into a car on Broadway and kills someone, what would the verdict be? If someone dies, someone should do time.

If this office gets off for killing someone then it will show the true hypocrisy and elitism we face in this nation today. And I will be writing a new song called "Back Scratcher".

-- Posted by timexx on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 10:20 AM

mongengineer- Isn't that why they are givin tasers? If this guy had jumped the officer, or lunged at him, then yes he should be shot and killed. But he didn't do that. He turned and ran. Are we back to the wild west where you give a man a gun and a badge call me a deputy and send him on his way? Didn't this office have proper training? Did he not have on a bullet proof vest? And why didn't he have another officer with him if this Zach guy was so bad?

-- Posted by timexx on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 10:42 AM

The shooter wasn't a police officer and was not affiliated with any law enforcement agency.

Stop saying "the cops are..." when referring to the shooter.

-- Posted by just_winky on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 10:44 AM

mongengineer- Thank you for your service, but when you were in Iraq. Did you go to arrest someone alone? I don't think you did. I'm sure you had one or more people with you. Because you knew the danger of what you were doing. If this officer felt he was in danger he should also have came with help right from the start. If he had shot this guy in the chest, I'd be saying he most likely got what he deserved. But that is not the case here.

-- Posted by timexx on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 10:58 AM

This is awful... I have a son on parole too,he's not violent ,,just cant believe that guy did this,,,and no he's not a policeofficer ,,because they would have handled this different!!Lots of those correctional officer think that people who commit crimes are animals! My heart goes out to this mom......

-- Posted by motheralso on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 11:28 AM

"Late Tuesday a coroner's jury ruled Julian's actions in shooting Snyder were not justified as self-defense, nor did they constitute a lawful use of force."

-- Posted by timexx on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 11:30 AM


Nuff said...

My advice...don't drop the soap, officer. And if/when you get out...don't violate your parole!

-- Posted by allen6177 on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 11:48 AM

"Let the lesson be, if you run from the law, risk death!!!" - quote mongengineer

Steven is supposed to enforce the law not break the law. Zach is NOT your lesson. How sick! He WAS a human being!

"Remember, the officer is doing a job that nobody else wants to do these days." quote mongengineer

You lie about that. I happen to know my cousin is on a long waiting list to become an officer. He is perfectly suitable for the position. By the way, this AGENT was not a police officer, and he WAS not a SOLDIER in Iraq. Steven's career choices was HIS to make. Nobody held a gun to him & made his career choice for him. Someday, Zach SHOULD have been given HIS choice to make his career path. If Steven would have studied Zach's case before jumping the gun he would have seen Zach applied for college.

This is America the home of freedoms, chances and choices.

Steven Julian made his choice on Valentines Day to get out of his car, to pull his gun at night without back up on an unarmed victim in front of witnesses. He pulled his gun's trigger, because the agent states that Zach was going to run. Zachary Snyder was shot in the back. Zach is not here to tell his side. We will never really know what Zach would say, because the Agent wants to state it for Zach! He wants to 'what if' the case instead of 'what did!' What a sugar coating cop out! Right, Steven.. Murder the victim & then do his thinking for him!

I don't have to arrest people that miss their parole violation, because I did not go to school to TRAIN in that profession. Instead, I will attend college for psychology & try to solve the solution before it occurs. Maybe Steven Julian should have been theraputed away from his 'what if' scenario fears, so that the victim ZACHARY is not applied to every criminal.

There are heroes out there that would uphold the law & be an agent. Do not ever think that their is a shortage on heroes. There are men and women that believe in justice to be served! We have our heroes, and they Do not Do it for the money! They do it, because they care about us, and EVERYBODY around US! They don't endanger anybody and everybody, because of a 'what if' scenario.

They are proud to uphold the law. They choose their career path knowing they are taking chances. They make decisions based on facts. If they know they're in danger they do not ACT QUICKLY! They are trained to THINK! To think, to pursue and to obey the law!

-- Posted by cabingirl on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 11:55 AM

I got it!!!!!! What if you all shut the ^$%&^ UP because you were not there and have no idea what actualy happened. What a novel idea!!! It was ruled unjustified. I agree. He is being charged I agree. The saying goes keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool instead of opening it and removeing all doubt.

-- Posted by useyourbrainforachange on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 12:35 PM

the shooter did not have the right to shoot a convicted felon for attacking him and running away he is not deemed police judge jury and executioner

-- Posted by stuarth08 on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 12:38 PM

Cabingirl - you were lucky then. I lived there for over 5 years. In that time I saw prostitues in the parking lots, drug deals right outside my window on a daily basis, and many fights inside and outside of the buildings, several times with weapons being drawn. The nice buildings you are refering to have roaches in nearly all of them regardless of how many times they are sprayed and how clean the tenants keep their individual units. Also, at least when I lived there, about 50% of the tenants were illegal. I'm glad you felt safe there, but perhaps we have a different definition of what a safe neighborhood is...I can still understand why the officer had his guard up...sugar coating something - maybe you should read my post again. I do not recall sugarcoating anything - just making a comment to someone other than you on here.

-- Posted by CapeRes on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 12:42 PM

There are people on here that are on the Shooter's side and people that are on the victim's side. This case could go either way. People always talk about how "these criminals nedd to be put in jail". Everyone is against the criminals. Now that something has happened to the criminal, people are against the cop.

Timexx- I have a very hard time agreeing with what you say or use as an example. This case is far from comparison to the Jackson kid who shot the his classmate. He should up wanting to shoot the kid. This officer gets out of his car and pulls his gun immediately to show the "criminal that he is not messing around" That person still tried to flee arrest like he had done previously. Obviously this "criminal" was a threat because both of his girlfriends were calling the police on him. Bottom line is that at that age you have to be smarter then to run from someone that pulls a gun on you. The Jackson kid was 16. I can see where his thinking is off becuase of his age. This kid was 23. That is a big difference.

Who knows people, but what if they girls that called the shooter told him before hand that Zach is willing to run and may be a threat. He probably came into that situation thinking that he might need to use force.

This is not a regualar arrest. This individual failed to turn himself in therefore made the police think that he is willing to do anything.

Timexx- you are absolutely crazy if you think that this guy should or will get 30 years like the Jackson kid. Two totally different cases and the comparison is just pathetic. The victim provoked the officer.

The Jackson victim did nothing to provoke him getting shot three times.

This officer will serve from 0-6 months in prison. That is the max punishment he will get. Reason being is that he felt threatend and shot Once in the SHOULDER, NOT THE BACK. Like someone else mentioned, it is impossible to shoot someone in the back and hit the shoulder, lungs and heart.

-- Posted by HeHateMeToo on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 1:05 PM


The matter of the LEO justification for the shooting of Mr Snyder will be decided by a court of law.

But, nonetheless, Mr Snyder comitted a crime and went to jail. He violated the terms of his parole. He did not follow the instructions of the arresting officer. He died as a result. Actions do have consequences.

-- Posted by conservababe on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 1:10 PM


I hate to point this out..but the shoulder blade is in the back. He admitted that he shot him in the back.

-- Posted by allen6177 on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 1:10 PM


Everyone interested in this case should read this pdf file. It gives all the facts. And from the way I read it. The Zach guy didn't run. But turned. Maybe because he was looking around. Or maybe because the officer was shoveing his arm up behind his back and it hurt. Guess we wont know for sure since he's dead now. And all we have is the word of this newly Convicted felon.

The Cape PD officer puts it all down in black and white. The facts are there. Steven Julian even admits to shooting Zach in the back on purpose, even tho he had not seen any sign of a weapon. Steven Julian deserves to spend time in Jail. And they should lock him up.

However I bet he only does a few months in the county jail and not a real prison like he deserves. Every thing about what he did was done wrong. This guy should have never been given a badge. He was clearly under trained for the job he was given.

The Cape PD however did a great job at taking care of this fairly and truthfully. We really are lucky to have such good police officers in Cape.


HELLO- You said "The victim provoked the officer" maybe he did. But is that a reason enough to just shoot him in the back. A jury said "NO" and that it was "not justified as self-defense, nor did they constitute a lawful use of force" the officer WAY over reacted. Stop trying to act like his is blameless. I'm also not standing up for the victim. He did wrong, and he should have been arrested, given due process and sent back to jail. But this officer felt differently. The guy was not listed as a violent criminal. He should have been arrested, not shot in the back and killed.

As far as the Jackson thing. I don't believe I have stated my thoughts on that publicly yet.

-- Posted by timexx on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 1:59 PM


I do admire your efforts but the Salvation Army or the Baptist Disaster Relief does more on less funds that the bloated and fraudulent Red Cross.

-- Posted by conservababe on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 4:53 PM

Yeah, this shooter immediately drew his weapon because of darkness and because of the neighborhood? He had his mind made up already. I hope this is the end of his career. If he was so scared, why didn't he get the police to assist? The victim's past also doesn't justify the outcome.

-- Posted by Beaker on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 5:04 PM

Come on people. This CO did not go there to intentionally shoot that kid. Therefore it is not Murder! The kid in this case made a sudden movement and he got shot. I'm not saying it is justified in any way, but the officer had his gun drawn and the arestee knew it. The officer did not know if the arestee had a weapon or not and was making a move for it when he turned, so he shot. It keeps being said on here that he was shot in the BACK. You cannot hit the shoulder, then the lung, then the heart by shooting straight at the persons back. The arestee turned, in the CO's opinion, in a threatening manner and the CO shot.

Honestly ask yourself if you were the CO in this situation not knowing if the person you were aresting was armed or not would you shoot too? I think you probably would.

-- Posted by DARTHJASON on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 5:20 PM

Timexx, I have one question for you: WERE YOU THERE?

-- Posted by LittleMac on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 5:21 PM

-- Posted by LittleMac on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 6:26 PM

Just to clarify...

West Themis Street IS the new S. Sprigg Street/Good Hope.

-- Posted by user Vast Right Wing Conspiracy on Wed, Feb 27, 2008, at 6:39 PM

Timexx- "Or he should at the least get the same time as the kid in Jackson got". I will wait until you go public with the Jackson kid then. I guess you dont count this line you wrote.

Believe it or not folks, this is a bad neighborhood. It has been declining over the last couple years.

"It keeps being said on here that he was shot in the BACK. You cannot hit the shoulder, then the lung, then the heart by shooting straight at the persons back. The arestee turned, in the CO's opinion, in a threatening manner and the CO shot". (DARTHJASON)

I am not the only one who thinks the same thing. From reading the article, I feel that it misrepresents where he was hit. I have never heard them say "shoulder blade". That is obivously a different angle. I thought they were saying "straight in the back".

What got the officer in the most trouble is that he went to the scene alone and did not wait for back up to arrive. He had already called the police. Once he got there, the person that he came to arrest was standing outside. What do you do. Sit there and wait for the other morons at CPD, or do you go arrest the person that you came for. I understand that he dhot him in the back, but the fault was not waiting for help because their never would have been a shot if their were other officers present. What do you do?

-- Posted by HeHateMeToo on Thu, Feb 28, 2008, at 8:11 AM

If only the felon had gotten away. Then there would be nothing to argue about and we could all sleep easier.

-- Posted by kskltn on Thu, Feb 28, 2008, at 11:10 PM

timexx -- read your law books before you start accusing someone of murder. There is a difference. Homicide is one person taking the life of another by the legal definition, not murder.

deesalt-- I am guessing you did not actually know Zach to say he was not a gangster. What someone did in school and what he did out of school are not the same. Obviously you did not see the art work on his body that told a little different story than you are telling. He had 713 on his chest, if you know anything about gangs and gang activity that alone would tell you something. Have you ever heard of MS13

If he was so eager to turn himself in why did he fight/run from the officer.

Just to clear things up and to put things into a little perspective he was not shot with his back facing the officer. Look at the human anatomy. Both lungs and the heart. The only way that could have happened is if Zach was sideways turning towards the officer. The entrance would have to have been around the shoulderblade of one side and exited around the other side of his body around the chest. Both the entrance and exit wounds would have had to be close to the armpits. That is just simple anatomy. Unless you beleive in the magic bullet theory.

Cabingirl--read the interview of Steven he did not say he thought Zach was going to run he said he thought Zach was attacking him. He mentions that numerous times in the interview.

Hello-- you wait for backup. If you can see him and he does not see you were is he going to go. He is in the middle of town with you watching him with a uniformed police office on his way to you. You know who he is you know what he is wearing. Why jump the gun? As far as calling the CPD morons I am a little confused by that why are they morons. What did they do to screw this up. They had backup on their way. He just did not wait for them to get there. From the interview they were only a few minutes from being there.

I apoligize if it sounds like I am attacking anyones opinion. That is not my intention I just want to put the facts out as I know them and not base my comments on speculation and rumers. The media only reports what they think makes good news. I am not saying they are covering anything up but I have seen firsthand how the media can twist the facts to make for a better story.

I have seen a protest of approximately 15 people turn into a 300 plus crowd according to the media. The 300 plus were not protesting they were celebrating but due to the camera angles and use of the microphones it appeared the other way around when it was aired.

So I appoligize if I do not fully trust the media but get my information from law books and case files all of which are public information and can be accesed by anyone if they want to learn the truth about what is going on in a cituation.

-- Posted by my-view-of-this on Sun, Mar 2, 2008, at 7:19 PM

Rubbermaid - You nailed it! End of discussion.

elizabeth - To use timexx's example: Charles Manson was a small man. Would you be afraid of him?

-- Posted by libra7 on Tue, Mar 4, 2008, at 1:24 AM

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