Lawyer shot by officers after reporting burglary near Uptown in Dallas

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by MARJORIE OWENS

WFAA

Posted on January 2, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 2 at 11:53 PM

Standoff at apartment building

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DALLAS — A prominent trial lawyer was fatally shot by Dallas police at a condominium building near Uptown after he reported a bogus burglary and opened fire upon responding officers early Thursday morning, authorities said.

Police identified the man as 47-year-old Michael Edward Schmidt, a trial lawyer with the Schmidt Firm in Dallas and a resident at the Glass House complex at 2728 McKinnon Street.

According to police, Schmidt approached an employee at the Glass House at about 1:39 a.m. and reported a burglary was underway inside his apartment. The employee called 911 and Schmidt then "moved to an adjacent hallway and began barricading himself," police said.

Upon their arrival to the scene in the 2700 block of McKinnon St., officers attempted to talk with the suspect, who fired shots, according to police. 

"The individual then moved from his barricaded position towards the officers," the statement read. "It was then that the officers returned fire, striking him. He was pronounced dead at the scene."

While Schmidt fired at police, his 11-year-old daughter was present during the incident, law enforcement sources said. However Dallas police said Thursday evening the girl was out of sight of the officers at the time of the shooting. She was uninjured and released into the custody of relatives.

The Dallas Police Department said Thursday the officers involved in the incident were Ofc. Manual Ortiz, a two-and-a-half-year veteran on the force, Ofc. Derreck Evangelista, a six-and-a-half-year veteran, Ofc. Robert Wilcox, a 13-year veteran, and Sgt. Jason Scoggins, a 14-year veteran. All four have been placed on leave, as is typical during an investigation.

According to a Dallas Morning News report from February 20, 2013, Schmidt represented the McKenzie family, who was awarded $10.5 million in the 2011 death of 23-year-old Kasey McKenzie. McKenzie, of Granbury, was killed when a monster truck ran her over outside the Spearmint Rhino Gentleman's Club.

Schmidt argued employees at the club continued to serve the driver of the monster truck, Eric Brent Crutchfield, alcohol while he was already intoxicated. The family sued both the club and Crutchfield, who was sentenced to three years in prison in May of 2012.

In an online biography posted on The Schmidt Firm website, it states Schmidt graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1989 and earned a doctorate and MBA at the Oklahoma City University School of Law in the early 90s. 

Neighbors, who asked not to be named because they were close with the family, said Schmidt and his wife of more than 20 years underwent a divorce about a year ago. 

The Schmidt Firm was founded by his father, C.L. Mike Schmidt.

An investigation into the fatal incident and Schmidt's motive is underway.

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