A Baltimore County police officer lost his life as a result of a shooting on Winters Lane in Catonsville Wednesday.
Officials say 36-year-old officer Jason Schneider was shot while serving a warrant.
Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson fought tears and swallowed deep as he spoke of Schneider during a news conference outside Shock Trauma.
"This is particularly hard…. He was a great guy. Can you imagine what he did in 10 years of tactical," Johnson said.
Officials say Schneider was shot several times. The suspect in the incident, who has not yet been identified, was also shot by Schneider and is being treated at Shock Trauma. Schneider was coming around a corner when the suspect reportedly opened fire.
Dr. Deborah Stein at Shock Trauma said at a news conference Wednesday they suspect is in critical condition.
Schneider served 13 years in local law enforcement and 10 years in the special tactical unit of the Baltimore County Police department, where he served as the unit's leader. A former Marine, Schneider leaves behind a wife and two children. His father is a retired Baltimore City police officer.
Gov. Martin O'Malley has ordered the Maryland flag flown at half-staff in honor of Schneider.
Schneider is the first Baltimore County officer shot and killed since 2000. In that year, Sgt. Bruce Allen Prothro was killed during an armed robbery at a Pikesville jewelry store, where he was off-duty and working as a security guard. Officer John W. Stem, Sr. also died in 2000, but that was from a shooting in 1977. Overall, nine officers have been killed in the line of duty in Baltimore County .
Johnson said during the news conference that Baltimore County is experiencing historic low levels of violent crime over the past five years. At the same time, Schneider's death marks the fourth shooting in recent weeks in the Catonsville area. Johnson said Schneider's unit was serving a warrant in relation to one of those shootings, which took place between Aug. 17 and 21.
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz also released the following statement:
"On behalf of the 817,000 residents of Baltimore County, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Tactical Officer Jason Schneider who was shot and killed this morning while doing what our police officers do fearlessly each and every day -- protecting our Baltimore County neighborhoods," Kamenetz said.
"To the men and women of the Baltimore County Police Department, please know that we appreciate your service and know that you are in great pain having lost a brother in arms this morning. I encourage everyone in Baltimore County to take a private moment today to remember Officer Schneider and his family. He was one of Baltimore County's quiet heroes."
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