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Witnesses: Slain Ark. Officer Rescued Partner

Witnesses: Slain Ark. Officer Rescued Partner

This frame grab from video courtesy of KAIT8-TV shows Trumann officer Jonathan Schmidt in June 2010, in Trumann, Ark. Trumann Police Chief Tony Rusher said the 30-year-old officer was shot and killed during a traffic stop Tuesday, April 12, 2011, and that

Associated Press

April 13, 2011

A man suspected of fatally shooting an Arkansas policeman during a traffic stop sounded like he was reciting a prayer as the young officer approached his car door, a witness who was in the car told The Associated Press.

“Tonight’s the night. Tonight’s the night,” April Swanner recalled the suspected gunman Jerry Lard saying.

Swanner didn’t know what her friend meant until the car door clicked and Lard lunged toward Officer Jonathan Schmidt, shooting him in the neck.

Investigators have named Lard, 37, of Trumann, as the gunman in the Tuesday night shooting. He was under police guard at a hospital recovering from unspecified wounds. Formal charges hadn’t been filed late Wednesday.

But before the 30-year-old Schmidt died, he managed to shove his sergeant out of harm’s way, said Swanner, who was one of three other people in the car that Schmidt pulled over after a quick license plate check showed the car might not have insurance.

“Jonathan Schmidt is a hero,” said Swanner, 30, who went to school with the fallen officer. “He was down and wounded and still picked the other cop up to help.”

It’s not clear what drove Lard, 37, to shoot at Schmidt and Sgt. Corey Overstreet. Schmidt was patrolling the Delta community of some 7,000 people Tuesday night and pulled over Keith Elumbaugh, 33, of Trumann, authorities said. Overstreet arrived a few minutes later.

Elumbaugh told the AP that, during the traffic stop, he was handcuffed and told he was being held for failing to appear on a misdemeanor warrant. The accusation: he violated the town’s leash law with his ex-girlfriend’s dog, a Jack Russell terrier and Chihuahua mix named Rascal.

Elumbaugh said Schmidt was smiling and joking with the people in the car – after mispronouncing Elumbaugh’s name.

“I’m under arrest and I’m sitting there laughing with the guy,” Elumbaugh said.

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  • Johnny-policepic-2_max50


    about 2 years ago


    lawyer Schmidt but said Lard was mentally ill or deficient and should be spared execution., well bring him to Texas we have all our Death Penality program on the express service to Hell.

  • Me_aloof_1_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace Officer Schmidt. My prayers are with the family, friends, and co-workers of this Hero.

    This is heartbreaking, entirely to many of our Brothers and Sisters in Blue are losing their lives. I pray justice is served to the p.o.s. that did this.

  • John_groh_max50


    over 3 years ago


    RIP Officer Schmidt, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    May God bless your family, co-workers and friends as his son Jesus Christ cradles you in his sweet embrace.

  • F2_1__max50


    over 3 years ago


    Blessings on your family, we miss you brother.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in peace, Officer Schmidt. You are a true hero.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    What a stud! God Bless your soul brother and keep your family safe in their time of need.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    This absolutely breaks my heart. To his children, family members, fellow officers, friends...I'm so very, very sorry for your loss. What a damned shame to lose such an officer as he was. I pray God exacts a heavy penalty on the p.o.t. who did it. My thoughts & prayers go out to you all. RIP Officer Jonathan Schmidt.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Go rest high on that mountain, my brother. Thoughts and prayers to the family and fellow officers at Trumann. God Bless!

  • Guns_max50


    over 3 years ago


    God Bless you brother. I wish one of us were there to help you. RIP

  • Img00015-20101105-1530_max50


    over 3 years ago


    May he rest in peace and the bastard responsible will pay. I know he will.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    My prayers are with the family and friends of Ofc. Schmidt. What is our world coming to? There is an absolute disregard for any type of authority in the US anymore. You can see it in the way people look at you and obviously by the number of officers getting killed. Here the officer is trying to keep things lite with the occupants of the car and what does he get in return! Be Polite, Be Professional and Be prepared to kill anyone you come into contact with because they might just be planning the same thing for you. RIP brother...

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    Trained with this officer... Genuine, 1st Class ALL the way!!!!! God bless your family brother...

  • 100_0163-3_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Final great act by a wonderful individual. Rest in peace and condolences to his family, friends and the world for losing this special man.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    GODSPEED to Officer Schmidt's family and friends.
    Rest In Peace my brother

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