End of Watch: 01/24/1985
Agency: Tacoma Police Department
County: Pierce County
On Thursday, January 24, 1985 about 1825 hours, Tacoma Police Officer Craig Nollmeyer and Officer William Taylor arrived in the area of the 1000 block of North Prospect Street for the report of a domestic in-progress with shots fired.
The suspect, Kenneth Schrader, had shot and killed his wife and slashed his twelve year-old stepson in the head with a knife. The stepson attempted to flee to a neighbor’s house, but was tracked down by Schrader.
Upon arriving at the neighbor’s house, Schrader kicked in the front door. He walked to a locked bathroom door where he began shooting aimlessly. He shot the 23 year-old neighbor where she, her daughter and the stepson were hiding.
Schrader saw Officer Nollmeyer and Officer Taylor arrive in the area. The officers positioned themselves on the corner of North 11th and Prospect. Schrader moved from the neighbor’s house and down the back alley and eventually ended up behind the two officers. Schrader approached Officer Nollmeyer and pulled the trigger on his .44 Magnum. The gun didn’t fire.
Some contend that at this point, Officer Nollmeyer apparently believed that Schrader was out of ammunition. Schrader continued to fire and struck Officer Nollmeyer in the head, killing him instantly.
Officer Taylor and other officers returned fire, striking Schrader four times. Schrader was taken into custody and was eventually sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Officer Nollmeyer served the Tacoma Police Department for three years.
He is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.