Motives questioned in Dallas attorney's police shootout

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by JASON WHITELY

WFAA

Posted on January 3, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 3 at 2:17 PM

DALLAS -– Friends of attorney Michael Schmidt said they never would have predicted what the 47-year-old attorney did overnight.

"He was a good, good, person. I don't know what facilitated what had happened, but it wasn't him," said Robin Shackelford, who used to work for Schmidt.

Early Thursday morning, Schmidt walked his 11-year-old daughter to the lobby of their Uptown apartment and told a security guard in the lobby to call police.

“Male and small female child walked into lobby stating somebody trying to get into their apartment,” a Dallas police dispatcher told officers who responded to the scene in the 2700 block of McKinnon Ave.

But before police arrived, Schmidt barricaded himself around the corner.

"According to the employee, the individual shot at officers when officers tried to speak with him,” said Dallas Police Deputy Chief Gil Garza.

"It was just in the middle of the night,” said Allison Weiner, resident. “[It was] very loud. A lot of screaming."

Police shot Schmidt dead near the lobby. Schmidt's 11-year-old daughter was not hurt in the shootout with police.

He was an accomplished trial lawyer, an SMU graduate, and father of four.

"He was obviously hurting,” Shackelford said. “And he may have just been hurting for all those people, because it's a hard job when you take it as seriously as him."

“He’s a good guy,” said friend and attorney Mark Siegel, “the kind of lawyer who cares more about his clients than anything else.”

Siegel said he gave Schmidt his last big case, in which he won with a jury’s verdict of $10 million.

“He was a well-respected trial lawyer. Michael was a good man like his dad. He loved his family. He loved his kids,” Siegel continued. “It’s just a real tragedy.”

But other friends told News 8 that the 47-year-old struggled with addiction and had gotten a divorce in the last year or so.

Police don't yet know whether either of those issues led up to the deadly encounter.

Toxicology tests will be performed on Schmidt to determine whether he had any drugs in his system.

Several friends said Schmidt’s stepmother is Glenna Goodacre, who designed part of the U.S. dollar coin with Sacagawea on it. And Schmidt's step-sister, Jill Goodacre, is a former Victoria's Secret model who is married to singer Harry Connick, Jr.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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