Hans Schmidt, a 26-year-old military medic and Christian father of two, is currently in a critical condition after being shot in the head.
The incident occurred while he was preaching on a street corner in Glendale, Arizona, around 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday. Schmidt, who had recently moved to Arizona, was actively promoting a nearby church service at the time of the shooting.
“This is a horrible, horrible event. We have a 26-year-old who is a military man, who was recently married and has two small children. He’s in a critical state,” said Gina Winn of the Glendale Police Department. The area of 51st Avenue and Peoria, where the shooting took place, is known for its high traffic, leading authorities to believe that witnesses were present during the incident.
Victory Chapel, where Schmidt serves as outreach director, released an update on his condition, expressing cautious optimism.
“The family is encouraged by what they are seeing,” the church communicated, urging people to continue praying for Schmidt’s recovery.
The investigation into the shooting is ongoing, with police actively seeking information to identify the assailant. It remains unclear whether Schmidt was a specific target or if this was a random act of violence. Winn emphasized the likelihood of witnesses in the busy intersection, urging anyone with information to come forward.
“We believe there is someone in the Valley who knows what happened. If you saw an individual or vehicle, you’re asked to call the Glendale Police Department,” Winn said.
Local reactions to the shooting reveal a mix of disbelief and concern. Paul Sanchez, who works near the shooting site, recalled the hostile reactions Schmidt often faced while preaching.
“There was a lot of everything, really — hateful comments, people yelling at him, ‘Get off the street,’ all sorts of mean things,” Sanchez said.
Jesse James, owner of a nearby comic store, expressed his shock and heightened awareness of safety following the incident.
“After tonight, I think we just need to take those extra steps,” James remarked, emphasizing the need for vigilance.
As of now, no arrests have been made in connection with the shooting. The Glendale Police Department is calling for public assistance, stressing the importance of any information that could lead to justice for Hans Schmidt and his family. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Glendale Police Department at 623-930-3000 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS, with a Spanish-speaking line available at 480-TESTIGO.
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