Detective George A. Schmidling

Detective George A. Schmidling

Waukesha Police Department, Wisconsin

End of Watch Sunday, June 11, 1961

Add to My Heroes

George A. Schmidling

Detective George Schmidling was shot and killed after arresting three burglary suspects.

Detective Schmidling was investigating a burglary when he located the three subjects eating at a downtown Waukesha restaurant and waited for them to leave before making contact with them. Detective Schmidling asked the trio to come back to the station for questioning, and the three agreed.

It is believed that Detective Schmidling patted down the three subjects before riding in the front passenger seat with the trio to the police station a few blocks away. Unbeknownst to Detective Schmidling, two of the subjects were hiding handguns between the seats, and one pulled a gun out and pointed it at Detective Schmidling. Detective Schmidling grabbed the barrel but was shot once in the chest and once in the shoulder. Detective Schmidling returned fire from his duty revolver, fatally wounding the shooter and then mortally wounding the driver, who was also attempting to pull out a gun.

Detective Schmidling opened the passenger door to escape and rolled out of the vehicle onto the roadway in sight of another Waukesha Police Officer who was driving by. The officer did not recognize the fatally wounded Detective and pursued the fleeing vehicle. He fired two warning shots at the car and eventually ran it off the road north of the City on Highway 164 near Hwy JJ. One subject lay dead in the back seat, the driver was mortally wounded and died the next day at Waukesha Memorial Hospital, and the third subject was not wounded and was taken into custody.

The surviving subject was sentenced to 45 years in prison and was released in 1969 on parole after serving 18 years.

Detective Schmidling was a United States Navy veteran and had served with the Waukesha Police Department for six years. He was survived by his wife and three children.

Detective Schmidling was the first Waukesha Police Officer to be killed in the line of duty. The Department's Firing Range was named after him in 1981, and a memorial plaque hangs in the Assembly Room with his likeness.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Two shot and killed

arrest attempt

Most Recent Reflection

View all 10 Reflections

George was my Uncle. He died as a hero. Because at the time of his death, George never recieved the honor he deserved at his final resting place. We he gerousaty of friends, and The City of Waukesha Police Department, we are erecting a monument with the following info, City of Waukesha Detective George Schmidling killed in the line of duty. A spiritual note, date of birth. End of watch. May he rest in peace.

Retired City of Pewaukee Police Chief
City of Pewaukee

March 20, 2023

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.