Trooper Cleared in Fatal Shooting at Colorado Capitol


A report has concluded that Colorado State Trooper Jay Hemphill acted appropriately when he shot and killed a mentally troubled man on July 16 at the state Capitol. The man, Aaron Snyder, was wearing a tuxedo, claimed to be an emperor and vowed to save the “unborn children” from the governor’s office. After Hemphill confronted him outside the governor’s office, Snyder opened his tuxedo jacket to reveal a gun in his pants pocket, reports the Rocky Mountain News. “No police are going to stop me,” Snyder said.

Hemphill drew his gun, ordered Snyder to stop, then fired four shots when he failed to do so. Hemphill, a 12-year patrol veteran who had never fired his weapon in the line of duty, was asked whether he had thought he was in danger. “I believe he could have killed me and killed the governor,” Hemphill said. The investigative report into the shooting, outlined in a 71-page letter released by Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey, concluded that Hemphill was justified in using deadly force against Snyder, 32.


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