Technician Jay Hemphill

On July 16, 2007, shortly before 2:00 pm, Aaron Snyder entered the west door of the State Capitol Building. Within five minutes he entered the temporary offices of Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. Snyder was dressed in a black tuxedo and was carrying Remington Hearing Protection in his left hand. He stated, “I am the Emperor and I am here to take over the State of Colorado.” Colorado State Patrol Technician Jay Hemphill, assigned to protect the Governor, intercepted Snyder in the reception area of the office, engaged him in conversation, and within a minute got him back outside the door. Technician Hemphill continued to talk with Snyder for approximately three more minutes, standing at arm’s length directly in front of the glass door to the Governor’s Office. During their discussion Snyder’s comments became challenging, concerning Technician Hemphill to make a 10-78 emergency alert from his radio (emergency – officer needs help). Snyder unexpectedly moved back his tuxedo coat revealing a large firearm protruding from his right-pants pocket. In concert with this action he stated, “No police are going to stop me.” Technician Hemphill dropped the pen and notebook he was holding, drawing his service weapon. As Snyder started moving toward him Technician Hemphill commanded loudly, “Stop – State Patrol – or I will kill you!” Snyder ignored the commands and continued to move toward Technician Hemphill. Technician Hemphill fired four shots. Snyder fell backward, just to the right of the door to the Governor’s Office, dying at the scene.