Police make arrest in connection with officer's killing in raid

Family of Baltimore County Police Officer Jason Schneider offers thanks to community

August 30, 2013|By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore County Officer Jason Schneider was trying to subdue a teen attempting to flee when a man came up behind him and opened fire during a predawn Catonsville raid, according to court documents filed Thursday.

As he collapsed with fatal injuries, Schneider managed to return fire and kill the suspected shooter, Tevon Smith, police said. Authorities announced two arrests in the case Thursday.

One was the person police had sought to arrest in the raid on an attempted-murder warrant; Rasheed Stanford, 16, surrendered to Baltimore County Police Thursday evening. The other was 17-year-old Taquan Barney, who allegedly tussled with Schneider while trying to escape, on firearms charges. Police identified Stanford Friday morning and also said he lived in the house where the shooting took place.

Citing a continuing investigation, police would not describe Stanford's relationship to Smith, 25.

New details about the raid and Schneider's death were included in charging documents. Armed with ballistic shields marked in large letters with the word "police," tactical officers descended on a house on Roberts Avenue in Catonsville on Wednesday. The suspect wanted in an attempted murder just blocks away wasn't in the house.

Police said Smith is the only person believed to have shot Schneider. In addition to Schneider, police said, a second officer fired his gun and has been placed on routine administrative duty.

As authorities continue to sort through the details of the case, police spokeswoman Cpl. Cathy Batton said the department continues to mourn the loss of a respected, highly trained officer.

Schneider's family released a statement Thursday that read: "Our entire family would like to thank everyone for their support during a very difficult time. The support has been tremendous, and we can't thank you enough."

At the home where the raid occurred, a large blood stain and sawdust remained on the kitchen floor Thursday. Police had finished their crime scene investigation, and a man at the residence declined to comment or give his name.

Four people who were inside the home at the time of the raid were released after questioning Thursday, police said. Barney, of the first block of Shipley Ave., was charged as an adult with gun violations. He did not have a lawyer listed in online court records, and family members couldn't be reached to comment.

Officers immediately encountered Barney when they entered the home about 5:15 a.m. Wednesday. Barney fled from the living room into the kitchen, according to court documents, and Schneider forced Barney to the ground with his ballistic shield.

That's when police said Smith shot Schneider. Police said Schneider and a second officer then returned fire, striking Smith.

"After a brief exchange of gun fire with the assailant, Tactical Officers began rendering emergency aid to Officer Schneider and the suspect that shot him," the document said.

Officers searched Barney in the living room at the front of the house and said they found a Taurus PT22 .22-caliber handgun in his left front pants pocket. Police said that firearm and one additional firearm were recovered from the house, and officers are investigating how the suspects came into possession of the weapons.

The officers secured the handgun and placed Barney under arrest. Because he is 17, Barney is not legally allowed to own a handgun. He is being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Stanford, the 16-year-old, is charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, and a gun charge. He is being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Schneider joined the Baltimore County police in 2000 as a Franklin Precinct patrolman before joining the county's tactical unit in 2004. He was a Marine from 1996 to 2000, according to a spokesman for the corps, earning the rank of sergeant.

On Facebook, people wanting to show support for the officer changed their profile pictures to an image of the county's departmental badge intersected by a blue line. Many joined a memorial Facebook group, and fellow law enforcement groups tweeted their condolences.

Amid the expressions of public sympathy, one University of Maryland Medical Center employee was under fire for derogatory Facebook comments about police posted in response to a picture honoring Schneider.

Hospital spokeswoman Karen Lancaster said the hospital was "investigating this personnel matter and will take appropriate action" but did not release the employee's name. She called the employee's comments "disappointing."

"It is with great pride that we serve the law enforcement community, who we consider to be our family, and we are all mourning the loss of Officer Schneider," Lancaster said in a statement. "We are privileged to provide care to law enforcement, and are committed to taking the best possible care of every patient who comes through our doors."

In Carroll County, where Schneider lived, Hampstead and Manchester schools are scheduled to close three hours early today for the officer's viewing, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Eckhardt Funeral Chapel on Charmil Drive in Manchester.

Funeral services for Schneider are scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Bartholomew Roman Catholic Church on Hanover Pike in Manchester.

In its statement, Schneider's family called him "an honorable and affectionate man who will be remembered and never forgotten."

He is survived by his wife, Ericka; two children, Brandon and Kayla; his parents, Charles and Karen Schneider; and two brothers.

Baltimore Sun Media Group reporters Alison Knezevich, Jon Meoli, Blair Ames and Yvonne Wenger contributed to this article.



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