MANCHESTER, Md. (WJZ) — A Baltimore County police officer killed in the line of duty will be honored this week as the department gears up to honor its fallen heroes.

Rochelle Ritchie spoke with the widow of Officer Jason Schneider, who says she is remaining strong despite his tragic loss.

Officer Schneider was shot and killed last year while serving a search warrant. His wife says the days without her husband have certainly been challenging but the support from the community and other officers has kept her and her family moving forward.

WJZ sat down with Ericka Schneider at the Manchester home she once shared with her husband, Jason.

“You know in the back of your head it’s possible–it could happen–but you never think it is going to happen to you,” she said.

It was August of last year when members of Baltimore County’s police tactical unit, including Schneider, served a search warrant on a home in Catonsville. They were looking for 16-year-old Rasheed Stanford, who was wanted for attempted murder. As officers were raiding the home, another teen tried to escape. As Schneider tried to stop him, he was shot in the back by 25-year-old Tevon Smith.

“He was a great guy. Can you imagine what he did–10 years in tactical; how many hundreds of these things he’s done–and this one damn incident unfolds like this,” said Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson.

Schneider was able to return fire, killing Smith.

Ericka–who knew the dangers of the job–recalls the day her husband said goodbye for the last time.

“About 4 in the morning he kissed me goodbye like he always did and said, `I love you’ and that was it,” she said.

This week, Baltimore County will honor Officer Schneider, who also served in the Marines, at their Fallen Heroes Day ceremony.

His wife says the days without her husband are hard for her and their two children but, like her husband, she says she is a fighter and will get through.

“He would want us all to be strong. He was a very strong person,” she said. “Very driven, very committed to his job. He always strived to be the best and that’s what he would want his family and friends to do.”

The ceremony is scheduled for Friday at the Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.

Schneider was 36 years old when he was killed.

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