Reporting Jamie Yuccas
LAKE CITY, Minn. (WCCO) — A police officer killed in the line of duty got a special honor Tuesday. Officer Shawn Schneider was shot during a domestic disturbance call on Dec. 19 and died 11 days later.
On Tuesday afternoon, he was given a special award in his hometown of Lake City.
Thirty-two-year-old Schneider left behind a wife and three young children. His wife Brittany accepted a proclamation from the governor and a plaque from the Minnesota Military Order of the Purple Heart.
While the honors are special, they’re also helping his friends, family and community, heal.
Lake City is a small town.
“It’s a small community but they have huge hearts,” his sister Monica Schneider said.
Hearts that are still heavy.
“It hits home everyday,” she said.
Officer Schneider died a hero on Dec. 30, 2011. And the community is still trying to make sense out of this tragedy. On Tuesday, there were hugs, tears and cheers at the City Hall, where nearly 200 people showed up to honor their brother.
“It’s going to be a slow process healing,” Monica said.
Mona Dohman, commissioner of public safety, helped honor Schneider on Tuesday.
“I know the people in this room are proud of the man they loved, the man they served beside,” she said.
Monica said her brother wanted to be a police officer since he was 2 years old. But no one could have predicted officer Schneider would give the ultimate sacrifice. Something this room remembers, and a town will never forget.
“We’re not going to stop showing up,” said Rachel Foss, a family friend. “We’re not going to stop calling, we’re going to always let Brittany know how much she means to us, and how much Shawn meant to us.”
While Officer Schneider’s wife did not want to talk on camera, she said she appreciates the community’s support.
Other family members told me these types of ceremonies are like baby steps in their healing process.