Patrolman Walter A. Schroeder

Patrolman Walter A. Schroeder

Boston Police Department, Massachusetts

End of Watch Thursday, September 24, 1970

Walter A. Schroeder

Patrolman Walter Schroeder was shot and killed while responding to a silent alarm at a bank at 9:20 a.m. at the intersection of Western Avenue and Everett Street in Allston-Brighton.

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 on 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 Nov. 30, 1973. Patrolman John Schroeder had been employed with the Boston Police Department for 19 years and is survived by his wife and nine children.

The Boston Police Department, located at One Schroeder Plaza, is named in honor of both brothers who were killed in the line of duty.

Bio

  • Age 42
  • Tour 19 years
  • Badge 1035

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; M-1
  • Offender Died in prison

ambush, bank robbery

Most Recent Reflection

View all 31 Reflections

Patrolman Schroeder, today marks the 48th anniversary of your brutal murder. An entirely new building stands where that bank once stood, but a plaque honoring your sacrifice is affixed to the exterior facing Western Ave. No real consolation, but it's truly a nice gesture to memorialize you in that way.

Brother, it's so gratifying to know that your family honors you and holds you in such high regard. The posts left by them are heartwarming and heart wrenching all at once, but they have proven that you are still with them in their hearts and minds. God Bless them and God Bless you, Brother. May your continued rest remain peaceful.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Department

September 24, 2018

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