Region Remembers MVPD Officer Nick Schultz
By: Sarah Holst
September 19, 2014 — On the night of Fri., Sept. 5th, Merrillville police responded to a call of an unwanted party inside a condominium in the 8200 block of Lincoln circle.
Officers entered the unit and were almost immediately met with gunfire. Officer Nickolaus “Nick” Schultz, 24, who had been with the department thirteen months, was struck in the head. The suspect then turned the gun on himself, taking his own life. Schultz was rushed to Christ Advocate Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. where he later died.
“You know, young officer,” Lake Co. Sheriff John Buncich says shortly after a memorial to honor Shultz’s life. “He’s from my home town, where I’m living, and he’s just a good athlete and just a life cut short too soon.”
Memorial services were held at the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville in order to accommodate the hundreds of officers who turned out to support one of their own.
“Law enforcement coming together as you can see over 1000 officers here from all over the state of Indiana, Illinois, and it’s just laying a hero to rest today,” Buncich says.
But while the day was about honoring the sacrifice that Schultz made to protect the community it was also about remembering a life that ended too soon.
“It’s a brotherhood, that’s exactly what it is, law enforcement,” the sheriff says. “We came together, the community has come together to show their support for the family and, it’s a sad day for law enforcement.”
After graduating from Lowell High School in 2009 Schultz attended Franklin College in Central Indiana. College president Jay Moseley said in a statement that, “Schultz was, and continues to be, highly respected for his caring nature and unwavering leadership.” Schultz’s college football teammates wore their Grizzlies jerseys to the service in support of their former captain.
“Showing the camaraderie here, the support for each other, and coming together, that’s what it’s all about,” the sheriff says. “Realization of how dangerous our, our profession actually it is. Unfortunately this wasn’t a first and of course it won’t be the last.
Following the ceremony Schultz’s casket was escorted by hundreds of police vehicles past the Merrillville police department and through Lowell, where dozens of residents lined the streets waiting in the rain for hours to honor their hometown hero.
In honor of officer Schultz, donations are being accepted by the Lowell High School athletic department in care of the “Live Love Give” scholarship.