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Medal of Honor Awarded to Fallen POFC Schneider

Photo of officers from Tactical Unit carrying POFC Jason Schneider's casket.
Members of the Tactical Unit carry POFC Jason Schneider into
Saint Bartholomew Roman Catholic Church in Manchester.

Towson, Maryland (September 4, 2013) – Police Chief James Johnson has awarded Police Officer First Class Jason Schneider the Medal of Honor, the Baltimore County Police Department’s highest honor. Officer Schneider was shot and killed on August 28 while serving a warrant in Precinct 1/Wilkens.

Chief Johnson presented the Medal of Honor to POFC Schneider’s wife, Ericka, at his funeral, held Saturday, August 31, at Saint Bartholomew Roman Catholic Church in Manchester. An estimated 1,200 people – including representatives of law enforcement agencies and fire companies from across Maryland, the mid-Atlantic and beyond – attended the funeral mass and the burial at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium.

Presentation of the Medal of Honor requires a unanimous vote by the Baltimore County Police Department’s Awards Review Board. The honor is presented to members who “with knowledge of risk, found themselves in a life-threatening situation and intelligently committed themselves to danger.”

In his remarks to the mourners, Chief Johnson called POFC Schneider “one of the very best” of all of the thousands of officers he has known.

As a member of the Tactical Unit, Johnson said, POFC Schneider “[suppressed] the human being’s natural desire to run from peril and [did] just the opposite – made himself the tip of the spear, the point person of a squad that exists for the express purpose of moving headlong into the dangerous unknown.”

“End of Watch” Radio Transmission

At the graveside service, Police dispatchers marked POFC Schneider’s “end of watch” with a ceremonial radio transmission.

100 Block of Winters Lane and Unit Block of Roberts Avenue, Precinct 1/Wilkens

POFC Schneider was fatally shot last Wednesday, August 28, as the Tactical Unit attempted to serve a warrant in the unit block of Roberts Avenue, 21228. His vest stopped several rounds, but one bullet struck him in the back just below the vest.

The events leading to the shooting of POFC Schneider began on August 19 at 10:11 p.m., when officers responded for a shooting in the 100 block of Winters Lane. A 29-year-old man had engaged in an argument with a suspect, and the suspect shot him.

That investigation led detectives to a home in the unit block of Roberts Avenue around 6 a.m. on August 28. Tactical officers, including Officer Schneider, entered the home and encountered several subjects.

In addition to POFC Schneider, one of the suspects, Tevon Smith, 25, of the unit block of Roberts Avenue, 21228, was fatally shot by police. Smith is believed to have fired the shots that killed POFC Schneider.

Among the people in the Roberts Avenue house at the time of the warrant service was Taquan Barney, 17, of the unit block of Shipley Avenue, 21228. He has been charged as an adult with firearm violations. While searching the suspect, officers found a loaded .22 caliber handgun in his front pants pocket.

On August 29, Rasheed Stanford, 16, of the unit block of Roberts Avenue, 21228, surrendered at the Public Safety Building. He was wanted in connection with the August 19 shooting on Winters Lane. Stanford has been charged as an adult with attempted first degree murder, first degree assault, and use of a firearm in a felony crime.

The investigation into the Winters Lane and Roberts Avenue shootings remains ongoing.

History

POFC Schneider is the Baltimore County Police Department’s ninth officer to die in the line of duty.

He is the first killed by gunfire since 2000, when Sergeant Bruce Prothero was shot and killed during an armed robbery at a Pikesville jewelry store. Sergeant Prothero was working off duty as a security guard when he was killed.