Bill Forster of suburban St. Louis has been trying to figure out how the little boy he taught to say, “Thank you for your service,” to every police officer and veteran he met allegedly killed a policeman at the age of 18, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. On Thursday, officers told him his son was in critical condition, that he had just shot and killed a police officer, and that he had been shot. His first question was whether the officer had a family. Yes, they told him. A wife and a 2-year-old son. Forster’s son Trenton was charged with first-degree murder after surviving four to five shots during the confrontation in Affton, Mo. Police officers were responding after someone reported that Forster was knocking on the door to a home where a 16-year-old girl he knew lived. Officer Blake Snyder arrived first. Prosecutors say Trenton Forster shot him at close range in the chin. A second officer then shot the 18-year-old.
Bill Forster said, “I am a Christian man and I believe in the sanctity of life, and what my son did is inexcusable. My heart bleeds for the family of officer Snyder. I’m not looking to make excuses for my son. There are no excuses for what my son did … The reality is, I lost my son not two days ago, but a long time before that.” Trenton Forster had struggled with drug addiction since 14, not long after he was involved in a car accident that left him with a head injury. “He changed in an instant,” Forster said. “It turned our family upside down.” Bill Forster said he put his son in drug rehab programs that didn’t seem to work; in-patient psychiatric counseling also didn’t succeed. His ability to send his son to professionals for help ended when Trenton Forster turned 18 this year. Trenton frequently talked about suicide and wanting to get a gun, relatives said.