Many leave lights on for wounded Lake City officer

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: December 20, 2011 - 7:16 PM
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Lake City police officer Shawn Schneider.

Photo: Courtesy KSTP-TV

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LAKE CITY, Minn. - The family of a Lake City police officer who was shot in the head while responding to a domestic call asked that community members leave their porch lights on as a tribute to the father of three, who remained in critical condition Tuesday.

Shawn Schneider, 32, was shot Monday when responding to a domestic situation at a house on West Lyon Avenue in Lake City. The suspect went back into the house after the shooting, prompting an hours-long standoff with authorities, who entered the house and found the suspect dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Police Chief Gary Majchrzak said late Monday that Schneider was showing some signs of response — such as holding his wife's hand — but was not talking. A spokeswoman at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester would only say his condition was critical Tuesday, adding that the family asked that other information remain private.

"The family ... would request that everyone leaves their porch light on the next three days. As with Gabrielle Giffords, the next three days will be extremely critical," Schneider's uncle, Mark Schneider, told KSTP-TV. "We'll send a beam up."

Many in the community chose to leave their lights on for the officer, who has been with the department for nine years. A prayer page for Schneider was also started on Facebook, and dozens of people had posted comments saying they would leave their lights on in communities across southern Minnesota and in Wisconsin.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension was still investigating Tuesday. Authorities were collecting evidence at the house and were interviewing potential witnesses to try to determine what led to the domestic disturbance.

The Mayo Clinic medical examiner positively identified the suspect Tuesday as Alan John Sylte Jr., 25, of Hager City, Wis. The cause of death was ruled a suicide.

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