A fallen officer's family needs prayer and support over the holiday.

By | December 20, 2011

A tragedy has occurred. Lakeville Minnesota police officer Shawn Schneider has been shot. The gunman who shot him is dead.

I learned about this through Facebook and the news. I texted a friend to find out more of the sad details. Officer Schneider’s partner was a one-time roommate of my brother. Bill and my brother Jason were good friends, and went to school together to become cops. Bill is OK I’m told.

The local TV and newspaper reports say that Shawn was on patrol when he responded to a domestic violence complaint in that town. When Officer Schneider arrived at the residence, that’s when 25-year old gunman Alan J. Sylte of Hager City Wisconsin shot the officer in the head.

The officer was taken to St. Mary’s Hospital emergency department in Rochester, a main campus of the renowned Mayo Clinic, where early reports are positive. A TV reporter said the officer squeezed his wife’s hand in the ICU, a positive sign. I’m not sure whether this is a Gabby Gifford’s miracle or not, but one can hope. Regardless he and his family have a long arduous journey ahead.

This sad story may not be as important as say the death of Kim Jung Il, or what the GOP candidates are doing in their various debates, or what the President’s vacation will cost the tax payer, but I guarantee it is the most important thing happening in small town Minnesota for the Schneider family, their friends, and for local law enforcement.

Some in the political realm will argue, “You see! Guns are to blame. Too many guns are too accessible to the people!” Others will logically argue, “This is a tragedy, but guns aren’t the problem. People are. An angry man with a gun decided it was his prerogative to ruin the lives of others as well as his own. You can’t blame guns for that.” It doesn’t matter. We’ve had this debate, and we will have it again. What does matter is that an officer’s family is grieving and in need of our prayers and support. Schneider is married with three school-aged children, who will no doubt be in anguish over their father over the Christmas holiday.

Remember the 10 codes police officers use in their radio communications? Many departments are fazing them out. Too antiquated and confusing, especially when multiple different agencies are trying to communicate. My brother told me a story about the 10 code 10-13, Officer Needs Assistance. He told me it is a reference to the Bible verse Romans Chapter 10, verse 13, which in my NIV Bible (the Nearly Inspired Version) states: “for, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Good story.

I checked, and I think my brother was just telling a story. 10-13 in the newly revised codes is “road/weather report”. Whatever. Ruin a good story will you! The point is this, an officer and his family needs our assistance and our prayers. A bad man has gone to heaven to meet his maker and receive judgment. A hero lies in a hospital room where his family prays for his recovery. His kids won’t understand why they have to hurt during the holiday. We should pray to0, and embrace them with our love. Pray to the Great Physician, Jesus, for his healing and grace upon this family.

I called Lakeville PDthis morning to find out if there was anything that the community could do for the family. The dispatcher told me, “We’re just getting organized right now.” I thanked him for his service and told him I would call back later. Await for further updates.

 

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