MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Michigan man killed in a shootout that also left a rookie Wisconsin state trooper dead was part of a group of skinheads who attacked black and Hispanic people nearly 20 years ago, court records show.
Steven Timothy Snyder was convicted in 1996 of disorderly conduct in Fond du Lac, the same city where he killed Trooper Trevor Casper on Tuesday. A third person was also found dead, but police have not said who was responsible.
According to charging documents, Snyder, then 19, was part of a group of skinheads police noticed walking through downtown in April 1996. Police saw the group walk up to a house. A group of black and Hispanic people emerged and the two groups pulled out pipes and baseball bats and began swinging at each other.
The groups dispersed as police arrived, and an officer chased Snyder down and captured him. The documents say he had several "White Power" tattoos and was carrying several dozen printed cards in his coat promoting a neo-Nazi organization called the National Alliance.
The cards contained messages such as, "That no multi-racial society is a healthy society — that if the white race is to survive we must unite our people on the basis of common blood, organize them within a progressive social order, and inspire them with a common set of ideals," the charging documents said.
Snyder told officers that some of the black and Hispanic people who came out of the house were carrying guns. The documents listed Snyder's address as Macomb Township, near Detroit.
He was convicted of disorderly conduct in May 1996 and sentenced to 50 days in jail. Online court records don't list any other charges against Snyder in Wisconsin.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Snyder robbed a bank in the Village of Wausaukee, a community in northeastern Wisconsin just a few miles from the Michigan border, early Tuesday afternoon.
Later that evening the 21-year-old Casper, who had just graduated from the State Patrol's academy in December and was on his first solo patrol, began following a vehicle in Fond du Lac that matched the description of the one used in the Wausaukee robbery. Casper ultimately got into a shootout with Snyder and both were fatally wounded, according to Department of Justice officials. The agency has released no other details and an investigation is ongoing.
Meanwhile, Marinette County authorities said Wausaukee resident Thomas C. Christ was found dead Tuesday. They said Christ had been shot after an encounter with Snyder near Christ's property.
The FBI and the state are investigating whether Snyder may be involved in other bank robberies in other states. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that a Fond du Lac bank was robbed around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, but Fond du Lac police said Thursday that investigators have found no evidence directly linking Snyder to that robbery.
A funeral for Casper will be held Sunday at his alma mater, Kiel High School. A private burial is scheduled Monday.
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