Trumann Officer Jonathan Schmidt shot, killed during traffic stop

    9:16 PM, Apr 13, 2011   |    comments
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    • Ofc. Jonathan Schmidt, Courtesy KAIT
    • Press conference in Trumann
    • Flag at half-staff in Trumann. Picture from THV's Oran Hardcastle.
    • Shooting scene, Courtesy: KAIT
    • Press conference in Trumann

    POINSETT CO., (KTHV) -- Police say at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, two Trumann officers made a traffic stop and approached the vehicle.  The passenger in the back seat is the alleged shooter.

    According to Trumann Police Chief Tony Rusher, 30-year-old Officer Jonathan Schmidt was shot and killed during a traffic stop in front of the Cottonwood Manor Apartments.

    Schmidt was taken to the NEA Baptist Hospital and pronounced dead. The suspect was taken to a nearby hospital and is in police custody at this time.

    An Arkansas couple says a policeman killed during a late night traffic stop pushed his colleague out of harm's way despite having been shot in the neck.

    Keith Elumbaugh says Trumann police stopped his car shortly before midnight Tuesday while he and his girlfriend gave 37-year-old shooting suspect Jerry Lard and Lard's female friend a ride home.

    Elumbaugh and girlfriend April Swanner told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he was standing handcuffed outside his car on an unrelated outstanding warrant when Lard opened fire on police from the back seat.

    Police say Lard was wounded.

    Schmidt joined the police force in 2007.

    Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler says the state police sent agents to Trumann at Rusher's request to investigate the shooting.

    An account has been established under the Police Benevolent Foundation called the "Jonathan Schmidt Memorial Fund" at Regions Bank. Donations can be made at any Regions Bank so that the public can assist in the efforts to provide financial support to Officer Schmidt's beneficiaries. Donations can also be made through the Police Benevolent Foundation's website at www.pbfi.org. All donations made to this memorial fund are tax-deductible, and 100% of the funds will go to Officer Jonathan Schmidt's beneficiaries.

    The Police Benevolent Foundation is also taking donations via text for the "Jonathan Schmidt Memorial Fund." You can help by texting the phrase COPS SCHMIDT to 85944. A $10 donation will be made through your cell phone bill. The PBF is asking everyone to please pass this information along to friends and family. Officer Schmidt's family will need all of us to rally behind them in these hard times.

    (Copyright 2011 by Today's THV & The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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