Police Officer Killed in Catonsville Shootout; Second Man Dies From Injuries

Police: Bullet was able to penetrate despite protective vest.

Officer Jason Schneider, 36, was fatally shot in Catonsville Wednesday morning.
Officer Jason Schneider, 36, was fatally shot in Catonsville Wednesday morning.
By Esther French and Bryan Sears

A Baltimore County police officer was fatally injured Wednesday morning in an exchange of gunfire while serving a warrant in a Catonsville home in connection with a nearby shooting earlier in the month.

Officer Jason Schneider, 36, was transported to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he died from his injuries, police said.

The man suspected of shooting Schneider was also injured and transported to the shock trauma center, where he died Wednesday afternoon.

Police identified the man as Tevon Smith, 25.

Schneider was a 13-year veteran of the force, assigned to the tactical division since 2004, according to police.

Members of Schneider's family, including his wife, as well as members of his tactical unit, laid a wreath in Towson Wednesday afternoon at the Baltimore County Police Department's fallen officers memorial. More than 300 people attended the short ceremony, and Schneider's wife briefly spoke to thank them for their support.

The morning shootout occurred in a small space, approximately 12 feet by 12 feet, at a home on Roberts Avenue, Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson said. When police entered, a number of individuals in the room scattered. 

Police said Schneider was shot several times, but he was able to return fire and hit a suspect. Schneider's bullet-proof vest stopped several rounds, but one appeared to have traveled underneath his vest, striking him in the back, police said in a statement Wednesday night.

Several people in the house were taken into custody but have not yet been charged, Johnson said.

County sources familiar with the investigation say that Smith was not the Aug. 19 suspect in a shooting that took place on nearby Winters Lane. That person, a 16-year-old male, was not in the house, sources say. Whether Smith was somehow associated with the Aug. 19 shooting is under investigation.

"We're still piecing this together in terms of what happened," Johnson said. "There will be a comprehensive investigation."

Johnson said the following in a statement: "Jason was extraordinarily experienced. He was a leader within the unit. This is a terrible loss for Baltimore County. His noble work is greatly appreciated, and his bravery and role in the great human experience brought us here today. Low crime rates mean nothing today...all that matters is that we lost a police officer."

Gov. Martin O'Malley ordered state flags to fly at half-staff to honor Schneider.

On Aug. 17, two men were injured in a shooting on Edmondson Avenue in Catonsville. On Aug. 21, a 16-year-old boy was shot in the arm in Woodlawn.
Laurie Ballard September 01, 2013 at 06:57 PM
Chuck, I have been reading all the posts here, and am dismayed by your obvious misunderstanding of the "no-knock-warrant." What you call "Gestapo" tactics are used ONLY as a last resort, in a KNOWN (documented) criminal stronghold. The police KNOW there are guns inside. They KNOW they will be confronting the most dangerous and ruthless criminals. Otherwise SWAT wouldn't be called in the first place. THEY are the ones called by the POLICE, when THEY need help!! (The under-cover detectives, who KNOW the "players" and KNOW they need help to take them DOWN!) BTW, a no-know-warrant can only be obtained by reaching certain benchmarks, going through a JUDGE, and being signed by that judge. And do you really think this 16yo kid is an "innocent"? So maybe you are one who thinks that because Lee Malvo was only 16, when he was hiding in the trunk of a car, pointing his gun through the hole and indiscriminately picking his victim, any victim, lining up his sights, squeezing the trigger and blowing that poor person's BRAINS OUT was an innocent?? Because he was just 16??? Do you not remember the TERROR those two "D.C. Snipers" struck into EVERYONE who lived within several STATES??? Malvo was hardly an innocent. These "kids", many of them, are influenced by others around them, true. But at 16, they are old enough to make a choice. And if their choice is to take a gun and SHOOT someone, then they deserve whatever consequences they GET. And if that means that a team of good men, . . . men who spend their entire lives working hard, TRAINING together, on-call 24/7, and being willing to drop what EVER they are doing each time they GET THE CALL, to rush out into KNOWN danger - and confront what these men had to confront that night - putting their LIVES on the LINE to serve and protect innocent citizens (like you, and your family!) from thugs that would just as soon KILL you as look at you . . . then I believe YOU, and the rest of us law-abiding citizens, should be GRATEFUL!!!! To think otherwise, is just plain WRONG. Well I (honored to personally know some of these brave men), like Dennis, would like to THANK THEM for putting their LIVES on the LINE to protect us. We all owe them a HUGE debt of gratitude.
Chuck Burton September 01, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Laurie, if you reread what I said, the officers in Catonsville had a warrant, which had to be signed by a judge, of course. And I certainly respect police officers in their task of trying to keep us safe, but unless they are always present they cannot always be successful Actually not even then. And I doubt you would really want an officer following you around 24/7, would you? The best they can do, is solve a high percentage of crimes AFTER they occur, and perhaps prevent a few. They are only human. But the politicians keep loading them down with more and more laws to try to enforce, and this tends to make some of them over-officious and may bring out the jackboots, Geheimestaats polizei style. It was politicians like Hitler, of course, who passed the Nazi laws in Germany. Some of ours are little better in their motivations. As for 16 year old criminals, (or any age) if they do the crime, they should pay the price.
GZM September 02, 2013 at 03:39 PM
Yeah, but you forgot to mention that the majority of home invasions, probably close to 99%, are almost always drug related and not random. The chance of anyone's home being randomly invaded is slim to none. Just a minor detail, no biggie. *smh
MG42 September 02, 2013 at 04:47 PM
There seems to a breakdown in communication here, you can respect and support police officers and be opposed to no-knock warrants/a police state at the same time. Just like one can be opposed to another war that we can't afford, yet still support the troops. To suggest that those opposed to no knock warrants automatically hate police officers is the height of stupidity.
MG42 September 02, 2013 at 04:50 PM
Laurie Ballard- Lee Malvo is a good example of a dangerous person who was apprehended without the use of a no-knock warrant.


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