Patrolman Schaeffer died of a gunshot wound he received two days earlier when he attempted to arrest a man for stealing jackets from a party. On September 4, 1911 Patrolman Schaeffer was patrolling his beat when he was told of larceny that had occurred at a wedding celebration. Patrolman Schaeffer was given a description of four men who had stolen coats from the party.
A short time later Patrolman Schaeffer came across three men – one of whom matched the description of the suspects. Patrolman Schaffer immediately placed the suspect under arrest. One of suspects companions demanded the release of the prisoner. When Patrolman Schaeffer refused, the companion drew a handgun and shoot at the officer. As the shot was fired Patrolman Schaeffer turned his body in a way which caused the prisoner to be placed between the shooter and himself. The metal-jacketed bullet struck the prisoner in the heart killing him instantly. The bullet then passed through the prisoner and struck Patrolman Schaeffer in the abdomen.
After Patrolman Schaeffer fell to the ground the shooter did fire two more shots into the wounded Patrolman before fleeing. Patrolman Schaffer was able drag himself down the street in order to use a patrol box to send in an alarm.
While hospitalized from these wounds Patrolman Schaeffer did positively identify his assailant (who up until that time remained at large and unidentified). The suspect was later arrested and charged with first degree murder. The suspect was convicted and executed at Auburn Prison on August 14, 1912.
Patrolman Schaeffer had served with the Buffalo Police Department for 17 years and was survived by his wife and nine children.