The last Baltimore County police officer killed by gunfire was Sgt. Bruce Allen Prothero, who was working off-duty as a security guard when he was shot while chasing suspects from a Pikesville jewelry store in 2000.

Officer John W. Stern Sr. died the same year as a result of a gunshot wound he suffered in 1977.

The last Baltimore City police officer shot by a suspect and killed in the line of duty was Troy Lamont Chesley in 2007. Officer William Torbit was killed by fellow officers in January 2011.

Johnson grew emotional as he spoke about losing an officer. He said officers become especially close because they depend on one another in the line of duty. "You're dependent upon your co-workers," he said. "These things hurt terribly."

Though the county has seen violent crime decline over the past five years, a recent spike in shootings have hit the Catonsville area hard.

In addition to the Aug. 19 shooting, police were called to an area north of Route 40 and the Westview Shopping Center on Aug. 21, where a 16-year-old boy had been shot in the arm.

On Aug. 17, two men were shot in the 5300 block of Edmondson Ave. near the city line.

Kathy Clark, who lives near the corner of Roberts Avenue and Winters Lane, said she was awakened shortly after 5 a.m. by what sounded like an explosion She looked outside and saw the streets lined with unfamiliar SUVs.

"The whole street was full of cars," she said. "Like SWAT cars."

Ambulances arrived about 10 minutes later, Clark said.

Others said violence is unusual in the neighborhood along Winters Lane between Old Frederick Road and Edmondson Avenue about a half-mile west of Interstate 695.

Winters Lane Advisory Board President Emma Pennington, who has lived in the community for more than 30 years, said she was devastated to hear of the shooting.

Pennington said she has long walked and jogged through the area without fear.

"I walked last night, and I was on that same street [as the shooting]," she said. "It does give me pause."

Clark expressed concern that drug activity might have begun to encroach on the neighborhood.

Kamenetz expressed his admiration for Schneider and addressed his fellow officers.

"Please know that we appreciate your service and know that you are in great pain having lost a brother in arms this morning," he said in a statement. "He was one of Baltimore County's quiet heroes."

Baltimore Sun Media Group staff members Jonathan Pitts, Ian Duncan, Dan Rodricks and Julie Baughman contributed to this article.