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Steve Schnabel

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Steve Schnabel is the former Colonel of the Medina Police Department (North Dakota).  Steven Schnabel graduated from the North Dakota Law Enforcement Training Center in April of 1981. He is also a staff sergeant for the North Dakota Army National Guard of which he has been a member for over 19 years. Steve Schnabel is the co-author of It's All About Power.

According to the book description of It's All About Power, “On February 13, 1983, the US Marshals Service was summoned to the small North Dakota town of Medina to arrest a man by the name of Gordon Kahl, a known tax protester and former member of the Posse Comitatus. The marshals had an arrest warrant for Kahl and were notified that he was in Medina by Stutsman County Deputy Sheriff Brad Kapp.

On a recent television program about how the power of the IRS is getting out of hand, assuming people are guilty until they prove their innocence, the show used a lead in of a picture of a wanted poster of Gordon Kahl announcing, "It all started with this man". The Medina shoot-out between Gordon Kahl and US Marshals was the first stop on a dangerous trail, which has lead to Ruby Ridge, Waco and Oklahoma City. Darrell Graf and Steve Schnabel were both members of the Medina Police Department, Graf being the Chief and Schnabel the Colonel.

After finding out that the marshals were on their way to Medina, Graf and Schnabel did some quick planning and gathered members of the ambulance squad and rescue squad at the fire hall to prepare for what they thought could be a bloody shoot-out. Kahl had stated on several previous occasions that he would not go back to prison-he would go down fighting and take at least two enemies with him.

The marshals arrived at Medina and eventually cornered Kahl just north of town by a small farmstead. Kahl had his wife Joan and son Yorie with him, as well as friends Scott Faul, David Broer and Vernon Wegner. After nine minutes of shouting back and forth to one another, a shot rang out and one of the marshals was fatally wounded. There was a short pause and then a hail of gunfire, which lasted 20-30 seconds. When the smoke cleared two marshals were dead, one marshal critically wounded and two local officers wounded. Kahl escaped under a heavy veil of fog that evening, eventually making his way to the state of Arkansas.

Steve Schnabel was one of the local officers wounded in the gun battle and Darrell Graf was on the other side of the hill blocking traffic from entering the scene and coordinating the ambulance and rescue squads to positions for immediate response if needed. On June 3, 1983 law enforcement caught up with Kahl in Smithville, AR where he was hold up. They surrounded the house he was in and a barrage of gunfire ensued. The house was set on fire and virtually everything inside was destroyed, including the body of a man they believed to be Gordon Kahl. County Sheriff Gene Matthews was also killed during the shooting, but it is still unclear just when and where he received the fatal gunshot wound. Graf and Schnabel, former Medina police officers, have teamed together to write a book entitled IT'S ALL ABOUT POWER.

It's All About Power
Steve Schnabel  More Info

The authors' unique perspective of the case as they were there when it all happened. Their knowledge of events, which took place before during and after the shoot-out at Medina, make for a shocking, truthful look at just what happened in Medina that day. The authors also detail the blunder made by law enforcement in Arkansas during their attempt to bring Kahl to justice for what he had done in North Dakota. There were two people killed in Arkansas that day and not one police photograph or police report to go with it. No evidence gathered save a burned body and a burned rifle from the house.

One reader of It's All About Power said, “I am a former law enforcement officer from a small North Dakota town. After reading this book, I felt as if both authors just told me their stories face-to-face. The diagrams and photos really put me "at the scene". It is obvious that the authors of this book are not writers by trade, which actually made it a refreshing change from the same old, same old. I can relate to these officers having to wear many "hats" at their job. Graf shows the world, through this book, what being a Peace Officer is all about--trying to keep the peace. Unlike other authors of books on this subject, Graf actually met with and talked to the murderer on several occasions prior to the shoot-out, making informed decisions on first-hand knowledge. Others chose to ignore this knowledge when it was brought to their attention. Unlike a previous reader review, I've actually had a chance to meet with and talk to the authors after I read this book. I've seen the documentation they have to back up everything they write about in this book. Read the others first if you like, but save this book for last. It is the only true and accurate account you will read!”

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