Criminal Justice

Prominent personal injury lawyer is shot and killed in police shootout

A Dallas personal injury lawyer was shot and killed by police early Thursday after he barricaded himself into a hallway at his luxury high-rise apartment and began firing at officers.

Michael Edward Schmidt, 47, appeared to be mentally altered before he was fatally shot, according to a police dispatch recording cited by the Dallas Morning News, and a drug toxicology report is pending. says Schmidt’s 11-year-old daughter was inside his apartment during the shooting; the Dallas Morning News says she was in the hallway, though officers couldn’t see her.

Police were called to the Glass House by Windsor apartment complex after Schmidt told a building employee that his apartment had been burglarized, the stories say. Schmidt barricaded himself in a hallway near the apartment lobby and began firing, shooting even as officers tried to negotiate with him. Police returned fire after Schmidt moved toward officers, Deputy Police Chief Gil Garza said.

Schmidt had obtained a $10.5 million verdict in February 2013 for the family of a woman who was run over by a monster truck outside a Dallas strip club. He recently moved to the downtown apartment building after a divorce.

Schmidt had practiced law with his father, C.L. Mike Schmidt, who told the Dallas Morning News that he spoke on the phone with his son on Wednesday evening and he seemed fine. Michael Edward Schmidt’s former mother-in-law, Susan McMordie, told the newspaper that Schmidt “couldn’t have been nicer” to her daughter, even after the divorce, but he “just had some problems along the way.” A former client described the slain man as “such a nice person and a very talented lawyer.”

Updated at 7:20 a.m. to correct two subsequent references to Schmidt.

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