Patrolman Walter A. Schroeder

Patrolman Walter A. Schroeder

Boston Police Department, Massachusetts

End of Watch Thursday, September 24, 1970

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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 Walter 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 37 Reflections

Without taking too much of this reflection away from Officer Schroeder, Margaret Medicke, thank you for your heartfelt and spot on reflection. You’re right about everything you said except possibly a small difference is there seems to be more citizens today encouraging the behavior while vilifying the police. Great reflection and thank you again.

Officer Schroeder, you come from an obvious family of heroes sir and I can only say on this 50th anniversary of your untimely yet heroic departure, rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren. God Bless you and your family.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

September 24, 2020

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