On October 2, 1937, Deputy Sheriff Henry V. Snowbelt was off duty playing cards with his wife and two friends at the Wheeler Café in Lower Lake.
Unbeknownst to them, earlier in the evening a belligerent ex-convict had been removed from Millsap’s restaurant by the owner and a patron. The subject later confronted the patron at a pool hall, where he reportedly stated, “I’ve got you now, I’m going to shoot you.” The subject fired his rifle, seriously wounding the patron.
Still armed, the gunman eventually made his way to Wheeler Café. A customer attempted to talk the subject into relinquishing his rifle. Deputy Snowbelt left to retrieve a weapon and upon returning to the café, ordered the subject to put his gun down and his hands up. Instead of complying, the subject raised his rifle and fired, striking Deputy Snowbelt in the heart. Simultaneously Deputy Snowbelt fired twice, hitting the subject in his arm and heart. Deputy Snowbelt and the ex-convict died instantly.
Deputy Snowbelt was survived by his wife, Amelia, and daughter, Thelma.