Hero Down: Hancock Co. Deputy John Schmidt Killed By Accidental Shot

Deputy Schmidt died from an accidental gunshot wound to his chest.

Hancock County, MS - Hancock County Sheriff's Deputy John Schmidt, 65, died on Tuesday, Jan. 2, from an accidental gunshot wound.

Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam said that initial investigation showed Deputy Schmidt was cleaning a personal firearm at his Bayside Park home when the gun discharged, according to SunHerald.

Hancock County Sheriff's deputies responded to a residence on West Newtown Street Tuesday about 6:15 p.m. and found a man suffering from a gunshot wound, according to Hancock County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Don Bass.

Deputy Schmidt was able to talk to deputies and was in a great deal of pain, according to Chief Deputy Bass.

An American Medical Response ambulance crew drove him to Hancock Medical Center, and a Flight Care helicopter flew him to the University Medical Center in New Orleans, Sheriff Adam said, according to SunHerald.

Sheriff Adam said that the deputy died from an accidental gunshot wound to the chest.

Deputy Schmidt had joined the Hancock County Sheriff's Office on Dec. 18 as a part-time deputy, and was working to get reserve certification, according to Sheriff Adam.

“He was a very intelligent guy, and highly recommended,” Deputy Chief Bass said, who knew of Deputy Schmidt from police work in New Orleans and because Deputy Schmidt was a New Orleans police officer in District 3 during the same time as Chief Deputy Bass’ son.

“He had the skills to be a good police officer again, and just wanted to get back into it,” the chief deputy said.

Deputy Schmidt was a veteran officer with the New Orleans Police Department and a reserve officer with the Madison (Mississippi) Police Department for three years before his retirement from law enforcement in 2000.

He also was a retired educator, and had taught at Archbishop Rummel High School for 16 years. He had primarily taught civics and psychology.

Deputy Schmidt is survived by his wife and three children.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Hancock County Sheriff's Deputy John Schmidt, both blood and blue. Godspeed, sir, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.

Rest in peace, Deputy Schmidt. May your blood and blue families find comfort and peace. 😥

This is sad. ALWAYS CHECK CLEAR AND SAFE.

It is my opinion that this was a suicide. This is an old trick that used to be used all the time to hide police suicides. Sad that they refuse to call a spade a spade.

God be with his family, They must be hurting so much.

So sad. Whether he accidentally shot himself, or on purpose, he leaves behind family who mourn for him.

@LieutenantMike agreed. But hiding suicide by using the gun cleaning scam continues to undermine the very real problem of police suicide.