Five years later: Remembering Officer Jonathan Schmidt

Five years later: Remembering Officer Jonathan Schmidt
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - For years, Jonathan Schmidt served his community as a police officer for the Trumann Police Department.

His duty ended April 13, 2011 following a traffic stop.

In the late hours of April 12, Officer Schmidt pulled a car over with four people inside.

Jerry Lard, one of the occupants, would later shoot Officer Schmidt multiple times.

Officer Schmidt was rushed to a local hospital.

Hours later, he was pronounced dead.

"Nobody ever thought about it happening here," Kathy Schmidt said.

Kathy, Jonathan's mom, said burying her son is the hardest thing she's ever had to do.

"If I could talk to him right now, I'd want to know how are you doing? How does Heaven look?" Kathy said. "Our son gave the ultimate sacrifice. He laid down his life for our town."

Five years later, Kathy and her husband Donald say God granted them the power to forgive Jerry Lard for murdering their son.

However, it's something they'll never forget.

"The man that did this to our son is pure evil," Donald Schmidt said. "We can't allow Jerry Lard to take our spirit and our soul away from us. That's a free gift from God."

Even though Officer Schmidt is no longer patrolling the streets of Trumann, his legacy lives on. Not just in the small town, but in police departments across the world.

The dash cam video that captured his death is now used as training video to prove no traffic stop is ever "routine."

"If that video can save one person's life, it's well worth it," Donald Schmidt said.

On April 12, 2016, Trumann police officers will hold a vigil for Officer Schmidt at the same time he was making what would become his final traffic stop.

As for Lard, he remains on death row despite multiple attempts at an appeal.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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