A beloved religious leader was shot in the head Wednesday night while preaching the gospel in Glendale, Arizona.
Hans Schmidt, a young father and outreach director for the nondenominational Victory Chapel First Phoenix, was standing at the northwest corner of 51st and Peoria avenues with his megaphone, quoting scripture and preaching to passersby ahead of an evening service. Around 6 p.m., someone evidently pulled a gun on him,
It’s unclear whether the shooter attempted the apparent assassination on foot or from a car.
indicated police initially were dispatched to a hospital following reports that someone had been assaulted, but they soon discovered the victim had been shot.
The Victory Chapel revealed in a
statement Thursday, “Hans was taken to the ER where they discovered he had been shot after conducting a CT scan. He began seizing and was intubated. There has been some movement; however, physicians are uncertain how much is voluntary and began draining fluid from his brain. He remains in critical condition, please continue praying.”
Zulya Schmidt, the victim’s wife, noted in a Meta post, “Believing God has the final say. I love you so much babe.”
Henry Branch, a nearby resident, said, “Who knows why someone would want to take it out on a preacher like that because he’s speaking the gospel and good news to everybody. He’s out to help the community.”
indicated that following the shooting, police told nearby business owners to clear out, including the titular owner of Jesse James Comics.
“It’s something where they preach so much on this corner, and it’s such a congested area,” said James. “I always thought they might get hit by a car. I didn’t know they would be shot.”
Paul Sanchez works nearby and recalled occasionally seeing people drive by, cursing and screaming at Schmidt as he preached. However, Sanchez said the preacher never responded with hostility.
“There was a slurry of everything, really. I mean, hateful comments, people yelling at him, ‘Just get off the street.’ All sorts of mean things,” Sanchez told AZFamily.
Larry Dettman, a congregant who learned during a church service Wednesday night from Pastor Gary Marsh what had befallen Schmidt, said, “Out of nowhere, how does this happen? You know, there’s some evil people in this world that have got a bunch of human junk in their life and they take it out on somebody else.”
“People are following darkness instead of light,” continued Dettman.
As of Thursday, police were still investigating and had not yet arrested a suspect.
Street preacher shot at Glendale intersectionyoutu.be
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