Lieutenant James L. Schmit

Lieutenant James L. Schmit

Detroit Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Monday, October 17, 1988

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James L. Schmit

Lieutenant James Schmit and Police Officer Frank Walls were shot and killed while they and several other officers attempted to remove a mentally disturbed man from his apartment at 4130 Springle Avenue.

At 7:30 a.m., officers arrived at the apartment after receiving reports of a disturbance. Officers evacuated all tenants when it was revealed that the subject had soaked his unit with gasoline. At 9:30 a.m., while attempting to talk to the subject, the man opened fire through the front door with a 30-30 rifle, mortally wounding Lieutenant Schmit, who was located outside.

Lieutenant Schmit was transported to Samaritan Health Center, where he succumbed to his wounds after five hours of surgery.

Following a six-hour siege, the suspect then shot and killed Officer Walls as he led a special operations team into the apartment during the standoff. The entry team had secured the lower level of the apartment, and as Officer Walls moved to the stairs, he was shot and killed. Other officers shot and killed the suspect.

Lieutenant Schmit had served with the Detroit Police Department for 20 years. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 41
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; .30-.30
  • Offender Shot and killed

disturbance, EDP, mentally ill

Most Recent Reflection

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I am a Student Police Officer of Detroit Police Academy and I am graduating august 25, 2023.

During the 6 months of the academy I got the opportunity to pick LT James L Schmit as my silent partner, I am reaching out to hopefully his family to know that I am grateful to have him as my silent partner and will carry his name and remember him always as I now pursue my new journey as a Detroit Police officer. Thank you for your service LT Schmit may you rest in peace always.

P.O Patras 3027 born 1988 and is one of the reasons I felt connected to You as a partner since I was born 8 months prior to him passing.

Detroit Police Department

August 22, 2023

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