‘You tried to kill me’: Officer speaks out at sentencing of man who shot him and his partner

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WILLOUGHBY HILLS, Ohio -- One of the police officers who was injured at a Willoughby Hills car dealership when a man opened fire spoke out during the suspect's sentencing Thursday.

"Reason why we're here is because this coward right here didn't want to go to jail for a lousy traffic ticket. He thought that the lives of two officers was worth him not going to jail. Do you have any idea what you did to me, to my partner to my family, to his family, to our co-workers?" Willoughby Hills Police Officer Craig Anderson said.

Officer Anderson said he spent four months out of work due to the injuries suffered in the shooting; his partner, Ptl. Cory Planisek, spent five months out of work.

Timmothy Schmidt, 31, shot the officers at Classic BMW in September. The officers returned fire, hitting Schmidt, who was also injured.  The officers  returned to work after those months of recovery. Schmidt spent nearly two months in the hospital before being transferred to the Lake County Jail.

During the sentencing hearing on Thursday, Officer Anderson looked at Schmidt and said, "You tried to kill me, you son of a bi***."  As he inched a bit closer to Schmidt, the judge asked him to please stay at the lectern. Anderson then apologized.

“It's not enough,” the officer said after the sentencing. “We're not your enemy. We're here to do a job and we do our job to the best of our capabilities.”

Outside the courtroom, both officers said it was difficult seeing the man who tried to kill them.

“Seeing a guy that tried to kill you, it's pretty tough,” Ptl. Planisek said.

Schmidt read a statement, saying he was remorseful and on drugs at the time of the shooting. He was wanted on several minor warrants, and said he attempted to run away from the officers.

“Upon their putting their hands on me to arrest I acted like a cornered animal and reacted the only way I could imagine would allow me to continue to feed my habit and not risk complete withdrawal and even death,” Schmidt said.

Judge Eugene Lucci said he did not believe Schmidt was truly remorseful for his actions.

“You need to be made an example to society that you just cannot just shoot firearms against police officers,” Lucci said before issuing the sentence.

Schmidt was sentenced to 44-and-a-half years behind bars.

On Thursday evening at city council, both officers were recognized for their heroic actions in the line of duty.

Willoughby Hills police officers, Cory Planisek and Craig Anderson honored at city council on 4/26/18

**Continuing coverage**

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