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Memorial set up for slain county officer

Karen Thevel and her daughter, Autumn Thevel place flowers at the growing memorial where St. Louis County police officer Blake Snyder was shot and killed on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, on Arno Drive in the Green Park neighborhood. The Thevels live down the street. Autumn Thevel heard the shots and woke her mother. They said within seconds, the block was filled with police cars. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

A kind and generous gesture touched the hearts of some St. Louis County police officers as they were mourning the loss of one of their own Thursday.

Lt. Karl Bulla, president of the St. Louis County Police Welfare Association, said he and another officer went to a fast-food restaurant to pick up lunch for the family of slain officer Blake Snyder and the 50 or so other people, including friends and officers, who had gathered at a relative’s house to mourn with them in west St. Louis County.

Bulla and the other officer apologized to the staff for the massive order, but the workers didn’t complain when they heard its purpose.

A man and his young daughter standing behind them overheard the conversation. When Bulla went to pay the $500 bill, the restaurant informed him that it had already been paid by the man.

Bulla said the man didn’t want to give him his name, but felt compelled to cover the bill because of how he said St. Louis County police kept him and his family safe on the day Ballwin Officer Michael Flamion was shot and paralyzed in July.

“I told him he didn’t have to do it because it was a lot of money and we had it covered, but he told me, ‘You guys caught that guy who shot Officer Flamion in my backyard and I feel like you saved my life and kept my family safe,’” Bulla said.

“It really makes you feel like what you’re doing is worthwhile," Bulla added. “And officers need that right now because it reassures them.

"It’s one thing to get officers to come together, but when the community comes together it’s more touching than anything else.”

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