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Charges: Cottage Grove man threatened 'massacre' in front of child

An alleged gun-wielding Cottage Grove man threatened to kill himself and his wife in front of their young son.

“There is going to be a massacre here,” Matthew S. Snyder, 39, warned his wife, according to criminal charges filed against him.

Washington County prosecutors charged Snyder with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and with terroristic threats, both felonies, following a March 3 incident at his home in the 8000 block of Jergen Avenue.

According to the criminal complaint: Snyder’s wife of 10 years told authorities they had been arguing via text messages while Snyder was at work. She told him she wanted a divorce. He arrived home a short time later and became extremely upset and started making suicidal statements.

The woman was concerned so she distanced herself and their 3-year-old son from Snyder. He left but returned to the home a few hours later and found his wife and son in a bedroom watching a movie.

“You’re gonna want to get him out of there,” Snyder allegedly told his wife as he was holding a handgun.

Snyder eventually fell asleep and his wife hid the loaded .44-caliber Smith and Wesson pistol he had left on a dresser.

When Snyder woke they continued arguing and he threatened to kill his wife and then himself. The woman used her phone to record some of Snyder’s comments. A child can be heard yelling, “Stop, Daddy.”

Snyder was outside the home when police arrived and apprehended him. Police reported that he made several threatening statements while being transported to the Washington County jail. His next appearance is scheduled for April 9 and a jury trial is set for May 19.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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