Lake City police chief recalls Schneider during memorial serviceGoodhue County law enforcement officials and officers gather every May during National Police Week to honor fellow officers killed in the line of duty. Usually the ceremony honors officers killed generations ago or in distant cities.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Goodhue County law enforcement officials and officers gather every May during National Police Week to honor fellow officers killed in the line of duty. Usually the ceremony honors officers killed generations ago or in distant cities.
But this year much of the service was dedicated to Lake City police officer Shawn Schneider, who was shot Dec. 19, 2011, while responding to a domestic assault call. He died Dec. 30.
On Tuesday afternoon, police officers, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers from around the region gathered in the Law Enforcement Center rotunda.
After a moment of silence, Lake City Police Chief Gary Majchrzak spoke about what happened the day Schneider was shot.
“I was doing my morning routine — emails, billing, coding,” Majchrzak said, when he heard officers called to a domestic disturbance.
“That was odd for 8:30 in the morning,” he said.
Majchrzak talked about how warm it had been that day, how nice the weather was for December and that none of the officers were even wearing coats.
“No one looked for anything to go wrong,” he said. “It was a nice few days before Christmas.”
But then Majchrzak heard an officer calling Schneider’s name over the radio.
“He didn’t answer,” he said, adding that that’s when he started feeling a sense of urgency. Majchrzak and another officer drove to the scene.
“About the time we were … parking, we heard the words you never want to hear: Shawn is down.”
The chief said it was at that moment that training kicked in, and he and fellow officers worked to secure the perimeter and called for help. During that time, Majchrzak said they could do nothing but leave Schneider where he had fallen. It was about 10 minutes before Schneider could be dragged from the scene, though Majchrzak said it felt like it was much longer.
“It was difficult to see him lay there,” he said.
Majchrzak praised Schneider’s actions that day and his service to Lake City.
“Shawn did it right,” he said. “He took the call, he helped protect his citizen.”
This week, eight of Lake City’s 10 police officers traveled to Washington, D.C., to see Schneider’s name carved on the National Law Enforcement Memorial. Majchrzak said having them go is a way to help them through the healing process.
“We went through the initial phase of losing a brother in arms,” he said. “Everybody handles it a little differently. It’s fair to say the process is continuing and ongoing.”