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Patrolman Walter A. Schroeder | Boston Police Department, Massachusetts Boston Police Department, Massachusetts

Patrolman

Walter A. Schroeder

Boston Police Department, Massachusetts

End of Watch: Thursday, September 24, 1970

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 42

Tour: 19 years

Badge # 1035

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Rifle; M-1

Offender: Died in prison

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Patrolman Walter Schroeder was shot and killed while responding to a silent alarm at a bank at 9:20 am.

The bank was being robbed by five members of a gang of anti-Vietnam War activists. As he exited his cruiser and walked towards the bank, a gang member who was across the street opened fire on him with a rifle, striking him in the back several times. Patrolman Schroeder was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Patrolman Schroeder's killer was the focus of the largest manhunt in New England's history. After stealing two cars and eluding police during two high speed chases involving gunfire, he was captured. He was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. He died in prison September 10, 2011. Three of the other gang members were all sentenced to prison but most are now freed.

The fifth gang member, a woman, evaded capture, changed her name, and lived in Oregon for 23 years. Suffering from depression, she surrendered to police in 1993. She was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 8 to 12 years in prison. She was released in 1999.

Patrolman Schroeder was survived by his parents and five siblings.

Patrolman Schroeder's brother, Detective John Schroeder, was shot and killed while working for the same agency on November 30, 1973.

Patrolman Schroeder had been employed with the Boston Police Department for 19 years and is survived by his wife and nine children.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Detective John David Schroeder
Boston Police Department, Massachusetts
End of Watch: Friday, November 30, 1973
Cause: Gunfire

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Most Recent Reflection

Dr. Patrolman Walter A. Schroeder,

Your legacy has truly shined on since that fatal day in 1970. It's 2014, 44 years later and I shed a tear when I think of you. My grandmother, your sister Mary, will never let her growing family (of almost 50) forget about your heroic deeds. There isn't a family function that goes by without Nanny mentioning the love of her brothers. She's proud of you, and in turn, she's made her whole family proud of you, and John. I feel honored to be able to carry your family legacy on. Thank you for keeping our streets safe for as long as you did. You will never be forgotten. Please know the Rautenberg's think of you often. So much love. Rest easy.

- Melissa

Family member
Great-niece via Mary Schroeder - Rautenberg
November 29, 2014

 

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