Melissa J. Schmidt

Appointed March 25, 1996
Died August 1, 2002

  Officer Melissa Schmidt-a life cut short

Minneapolis Police Department Officer Melissa J. Schmidt’s life was cut short when she was 35. She   was only the second female police officer in the city to be killed while on duty.Schmidt, who had    been with
the department for six years, loved being a police officer. The call
involved a public housing   tenant, and Schmidt patrolled public housing
units for the department and cared very much about    the residents and
their safety.  The night was Thursday, August 1, 2002. 
Schmidt and Officer Tammy Friestleben, encountered Martha Donald, 60,
at the Horn Terrace and Tower public housing complex in the Lyndale
neighborhood in south Minneapolis. A member of Donald’s family had
placed a 911 call, expressing concern that she had a gun and was headed
for home at Horn Terrace.

Donald allowed the officers
to search her vehicle and pat her down. They found bullets in her purse
but no weapon. Donald asked to use the restroom, and Schmidt and
Friestleben escorted her to the first-floor restroom in Horn Terrace.

Schmidt and Friestleben waited outside the stalls, Donald lunged from
her stall, firing with a gun she’d concealed between her buttocks.
 Although Schmidt was wearing a bulletproof vest, she was shot in the
abdomen below her vest. Officer Schmidt returned fire, fatally wounding
Donald. Officer Schmidt then held her position until other officers
arrived on the scene.

Schmidt died after surgery at Hennepin County Medical Center later that night.

Schmidt was buried in her hometown of Bloomer, Wis., 115 miles east of
the Twin Cities. More than 800 police officers and emergency workers
from across the nation-including more than 400 who proceeded in squad
cars and motorcycles from Minneapolis-traveled to Bloomer to pay their
respects to the fallen officer.

was a high school basketball star in Bloomer and worked as an emergency
medical technician there after high school. She spent four years in the
U.S. Marines, then became an officer in the Bloomer Police Department.
 She joined the Minneapolis Police Department in 1996.

Schmidt is survived by her parents, Steve and Carole Schmidt of Bloomer, Wis., and an older brother, Chris.

worked for the Minneapolis Police Department’s Crime Prevention Program
before joining the Public Housing Unit. For two years, she worked with
deaf and hearing-impaired people to help them understand how to protect

The entire Minneapolis Police Department mourns the loss of our friend and colleague, Officer Melissa J. Schmidt.