Ten years ago, on Aug. 28, 2013, Baltimore County Police Officer First Class Jason Schneider, 36, of Manchester, was shot while serving a warrant in Catonsville. Schneider, a father of two, later died.
It has been said that a first responder or member of the military dies twice — once when they take their last breath, and again when they are forgotten.
Well, in Carroll County we do not forget.
Although he was born on Feb. 11, 1977, in California, we claimed him — he lived in Manchester. He was the husband of Ericka Nicole Fulton Schneider. He had family who worked for the City of Westminster at the time and had friends, classmates, and co-workers throughout the county. His funeral was held at St. Bartholomew Roman Catholic Church in Manchester, with the Rev. Michael Roach officiating.
He was a 1995 graduate of North Carroll High School. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was a 13-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department and for nine years he served on a team of tactical officers whose duties included serving high-risk warrants. One of his duty assignments as a Marine was to serve as a member of the elite presidential security detail at Camp David. He followed in the footsteps of his father, Charles, who was a Baltimore City Police officer and a Marine.
According to an article by Jessica Anderson in The Baltimore Sun, “When members of the Baltimore County police tactical unit prepared to conduct raids in volatile, high-risk situations, they often turned to Officer Jason Schneider to be the first through the door.
“Colleagues say Schneider was extremely dedicated and trained relentlessly — qualities that made him stand out even in a unit known for its hard work and discipline.” Schneider was a senior counter-sniper for the department’s tactical unit.
At the time of his death, he was the ninth Baltimore County police officer to have died in the line of duty in the history of the agency, which was established in 1874.
A memorial to fallen Baltimore County Police Officers stands in Towson. It is a 15-by-10-foot granite monument that was dedicated on May 21, 1996. An inscription on the monument reads, “In lasting memory of those officers and families who made the ultimate sacrifice. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9.”
Sadly, today, there have been a total of 10 Baltimore County police officers that have made the ultimate sacrifice. According to a Baltimore County government website, Police Officer First Class Amy Sorrells Caprio, 29, was killed on May 21, 2018, when she “responded to a call for a suspicious vehicle with multiple suspicious subjects walking around homes on Linwen Way in Precinct 8 Parkville. When she arrived and located the vehicle, she got out of her police car and ordered the driver to exit the vehicle. Instead, the driver accelerated and fatally struck Officer Caprio. She was nearly a four-year veteran of the Department and was married. Officer Caprio is the first female line-of-duty death in the Department’s history.”
According to information released by the Baltimore County Police Department after Schneider was killed, “On August 19 at 10:11 p.m., officers responded for a shooting in the 100 block of Winters Lane. A 29-year-old man got into an argument with the suspect, and the suspect shot him. The victim was transported to the hospital and is expected to survive his injuries.
Carroll County Daily Headlines
“That investigation led detectives to a home in the unit block of Roberts Avenue on the morning of August 28. Tactical officers, including Officer Schneider, entered the home and encountered several subjects. At least one of the subjects was armed with a handgun and there was an exchange of gunfire. The officer and the suspect were both shot.”
According to James Johnson, the Baltimore County police chief at the time of Schnieder’s death, people inside the house on Roberts Avenue tried to flee as soon as the officers entered, and Schneider was shot several times as he turned a corner, returning fire as he fell and striking a man.
“While in the structure, searching room-to-room, their presence was clearly known. We know the suspects clearly knew that we were police officers,” Johnson said.
According to a follow-up article in The Baltimore Sun, by Jessica Anderson, “Six people were inside the house when police entered, including [a] 17-year-old [suspect,] who allegedly tussled with Schneider while trying to escape. He has been charged with firearms violations after police recovered a Taurus PT22 .22-caliber handgun and a second gun. …”
Thousands of police officers, from as far away as Michigan and New Jersey, came to the Eckhardt Funeral Chapel in Manchester and several days later to St. Bartholomew Roman Catholic Church in Manchester to pay their respects to Schneider and his family after he was killed.
Schnieder’s family released a statement shortly after his death that referred to Schneider as “an honorable and affectionate man who will be remembered and never forgotten.” In September 2016, 1 mile of Route 30 between Hampstead Bypass and Charmil Drive was marked and renamed in his honor.
Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. His Time Flies column appears every Sunday. Email him at email@example.com.