Neighbors reeling following SWAT standoff that leaves toddler dead

NOW: Neighbors reeling following SWAT standoff that leaves toddler dead

ELKHART, Ind. -- The Elkhart community is reeling after a SWAT standoff over the weekend that left a two-year-old boy dead.

ABC57's Annie Kate spoke with neighbors and recaps what happened in the videos above.

"I mean, it was very quick after the flash bomb went off, and they went in. He brought the little boy out, in his arms, holding him like this, and he shook his head, like that. And we all knew he was gone," said neighbor Michael Janowski.

A community is in shock and grief stricken because a two-year-old boy is dead following a SWAT standoff in Elkhart.

"We were over here in the yards watching it, they kept telling us to go in," Janowski said. "But out of curiosity, we want to see what's going on, just like anybody."

It started just after nine Saturday night, when Elkhart County Sheriff's Deputies were carrying out a welfare check, learning Ryan Snyder was armed, inside his home with his two children, threatening to hurt them and officers.

Elkhart County SWAT responded after midnight Sunday, but Snyder barricaded himself in the home, at some point discharging a firearm.

"They had snipers positioned over at that house, they had snipers down there at that house, they had snipers over there at Pine Bluff," Janowski said. "One was in a truck, aiming to shoot. So, they were highly skilled and prepared to take on any situation."

A standoff followed.

"Woke up the next morning, it was still going on," said neighbor Nolan Swords. "That's when we realized who it was and there were kids and everything involved."

It lasted until nearly four in the afternoon Sunday.

"They were constantly moving," Swords said. "Trying to find points of entry, trying to talk to the guy, trying to convince him, getting family members out here, trying to convince him to come out."

"They tore down the garage doors, you can see, they tore down the front door with a ramming tool, they smashed the windows, they tried to gain access," Janowski said. "They tried to get him to surrender."

Eighteen hours after it started, officers made entry into the home on Pendleton Drive.

"So they had like a flash bomb over here, and I mean it was a big, huge ball of light, and then you heard the explosion," Janowski said, "And then that's when they rammed into the backside of the house with this machine that kind of had walls of steel that opened up."

Officers found both children; the boy was dead, but Snyder kept fighting.

"They brought the dad out, struggled with him, probably took them five to ten minutes before they actually got him down in the front of that yard and he was fighting, they tased him, didn't do a thing," Janowski said.

When he was finally restrained, Snyder was checked out at the hospital, and now sits behind bars.

The other child, a four-year-old girl, was treated at the scene and released to a relative.

"For something like this to happen, you just, I don't know, I wondered, 'do you really know your neighbors?'" Janowski said.

ABC57 will have more information about what happened when investigators release Snyder's charging documents.

As for the boy, we are told there was a forensic autopsy done Monday, but won't be complete for weeks due to further testing.

Share this article: