by Max Brantley
As officers checked the parking lot of the Extended Stay America they saw a black GMC Yukon backed into a parking space with a white male in the driver’s seat. Officers exited their vehicles and began to approach the Yukon at which time the vehicle accelerated forward and rammed into another vehicle that happened to be driving through the parking lot, pushing it into a police vehicle. Officers yelled commands at the driver and told him to show his hands. The driver ignored these commands and dropped his right hand from the steering wheel to his right side. At that point one officer fired his service weapon at the driver of the Yukon. Officers then approached the vehicle and removed two passengers who were not harmed. Officers then removed the driver of the vehicle to render medical attention. The driver was identified as Austin Snyder, who had been struck by the gunfire.Police put out an alert for Snyder earlier this week and said he was suspected in thefts of a Yukon and a Land Rover. It said he was a suspect in at least two breaking and entering reports and had been seen taking stolen goods from another stolen car and loading it into a Yukon. A 22-year-old man and 21-year-old woman were with Bryant. The police don't indicate they were taken into custody.
The officers rendered aid to Snyder until MEMS responded to the scene and transported him to the hospital. Snyder died shortly after arriving at the hospital as a result of his injuries. Major Crimes Detectives and Crime Scene Search Unit responded to the scene for pro- cessing. Snyder’s next of kin has been notified. The individual driving the vehicle that was struck by the Yukon was not injured. There were two handguns recovered from the front seat area of the Yukon. The officer involved was placed on administrative leave. The investigation is ongoing.
We learned that at least 827 people were shot by police — one every 2½ days. We learned that blacks are shot at a higher rate than whites. We learned that on-duty police are almost never charged with crimes for firing, even though agencies pay millions to settle civil lawsuits.
We learned that there are ways to avoid some of the violence.