May 06, 2017

Missouri law enforcement community gathers to honor fallen officers during annual statewide Law Enforcement Memorial Service

Names of 2 officers killed in the line of duty in 2016 will be memorialized on the Wall of Heroes along with 2 other fallen officers from past years

Three Missouri police officers and a sheriff’s deputy who died in the line of duty in between 1917 and 2016 were honored this morning during an annual ceremony at the Missouri Law Enforcement Memorial dedicated those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep their fellow citizens safe.

Officers, their families and friends from across Missouri gathered at the memorial on the grounds of the State Capitol as the names of St. Francois County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul A. Clark and St. Louis County Police Officer Blake C. Snyder, both of whom died in 2016, were added to the memorial’s Wall of Honor. Also honored on the wall were Lakeshire Police Officer Ronald E. Strittmatter, who died of a heart attack in 2015 following his shift, and Pleasant Hill Police Officer S. David Nelson, who was shot and killed after interrupting a burglary in 1917.  

“The loss of any member of our law enforcement community is a tragedy,” Gov. Eric Greitens said. “These men and women leave an indelible and lasting impact on our world and the people they come in contact with. Their selflessness, bravery, and integrity should not only inspire us, but give us hope. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to make sure these officers’ ideals live on through us.”

"The brave men whom we honor were the best among us, Attorney General Josh Hawley said. “We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to each of these Missouri heroes, as well as to their colleagues in all branches of law enforcement who continue to put their lives on the line each and every day to keep us safe."

Each year, the families of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty in the previous year, and through the decades, participate in the ceremony by placing white carnations in a wreath in honor of Missouri’s fallen heroes. Officers from agencies that have lost officers place wreaths at the memorial as the department names are read aloud.

On Friday, May 5, a candlelight vigil was held at the memorial in remembrance of all Missouri law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.  

The following law enforcement officer’s names were added to the memorial wall this year:

Paul A. Clark

End of Watch: July 4, 2016

Rank: Deputy

Department: St. Francois County Sheriff’s Office

Cause: Struck by vehicle

Age: 55

Years of Service: 13 years with St. Francois County Sheriff’s Office and 18 years as a law enforcement officer.

On July 4, 2016, Deputy Clark died from injuries sustained on Oct.27 when he was deliberately struck by a vehicle driven by a man trying to flee from a traffic stop.


Blake C. Snyder

End of Watch: Oct. 6, 2016

Rank: Officer

Department: St. Louis County Police Department

Cause: Gun shot

Age: 33

Years of Service: 4 years.

On Oct. 6, 2016, Officer Snyder was shot and killed in an ambush immediately after arriving at the scene of a disturbance call.


Ronald E. Strittmatter

End of Watch: Jan. 2, 2015

Rank: Officer

Department: Lakeshire Police Department

Cause: Heart attack

Age: 67

Years of Service: 28 years.

Officer Strittmatter died of a heart attack following his shift, during which he made several attempts to lift an elderly person who had fallen.



S. David Nelson

End of Watch: Dec. 3, 1917

Rank: Officer

Department: Pleasant Hill Police Department

Cause: Gun shot

Age: 37

Years of Service: Not available.

Officer Nelson was shot and killed by a burglar after interrupting a burglary at a grocery store.

(Photos of the ceremony are available for use on the DPS Flickr site.

Album of photos:

Slideshow of photos: