Freshman Jason Snytte saved his classmates by shutting his class door


Freshman Jason Snytte poses next to an MSD Strong poster during his second week back to school. Photo by Anna Dittman

Brianna Fisher

Freshman Jason Snytte poses next to an MSD Strong poster during his second week back to school. Photo by Anna Dittman

After doing something that seemed necessary to him at the time, freshman Jason Snytte had no clue that he would be deemed a hero. Sytte was in English class in the freshmen building during the shooting. When another student went to exit the classroom to use the bathroom, the class heard shots in the hallway. Snytte quickly ran to the door to make sure it was closed.

“I immediately ran to the door to close it once we heard the gunshots,” Snytte said. “I wasn’t sure if it was real or a drill, but I needed to make sure that we were safe.”

Snytte’s classmates were in shock when he ran over to the door. Nobody had time to process what was going on, let alone get up and close the door according to his classmates.

“Not in the moment did it even cross my mind to do what Jason did,” freshman Michael Catapano said. “I thought Jason was brave for closing the door and shutting the lights.”

Despite being caught up in the moment, Snytte did not realize the significance of his action. All he wanted to do was make sure that he and his fellow classmates were safe.

“I was kind of calm because we thought it was a drill,” Snytte said. “Once I heard screaming and everything, I panicked and starting texting my family and everyone to let them know I was okay.”

Throughout the rest of the incident, Snytte felt that his class followed the directions for the situation of an active shooter almost perfectly. Everyone tried to remain calm and stay safe so that nothing happened to Snytte’s class.

“My class mostly did everything right. That’s why we were skipped over,” Snytte said. “We just closed the door and the lights and made sure everyone was out of sight.”

Days after, Snytte was able to reflect on his role in the safety of his class. This allowed Snytte to realize how he affected the lives of Sinitch and the other students inside of his classroom.

“Yes, this has changed me as a person,” Snytte said. “It changes everyone I’m assuming, and everyone should be different now and just appreciate things more. People should value life more for the people that were lost.”

Even after reflecting on what happened, Snytte did not deem his action of closing the door important as others have. Instead, he would say that it was just the necessary act in that moment.

“I would not use the word, ‘hero,’ to describe myself,” Snytte said. “Others lost their lives saving people like Coach Feis, and I just closed the door. I just saved my own life and my class’s once he had passed over the room.”

Snytte’s mentality after the shooting was quite different than the rest of his classmates. Because Snytte was able to do something that the rest of the class could not, people were grateful for his actions.

“I would want to thank Jason for being brave and keeping us all safe,” Catapano said.

Despite what Snytte feels about his action of shutting his classroom door, his peers recognize him as a hero for saving the lives of his classmates. Now, Snytte can focus on coming together with the rest of his class to continue in the healing process.