Religious leader shot in the head while preaching on the street

GLENDALE, AZ – A religious community in Glendale, Arizona, is praying for the recovery of one of its leaders, who was shot in the head while preaching on a street corner. Hans Schmidt, 26, a military medic, Christian, and father of two, is currently in critical condition after being shot around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at the junction of 51st Avenue and Peoria.

Glendale authorities said Schmidt had recently relocated to Arizona and was advocating a nearby church service during his street preaching when the incident occurred. The Glendale Police Department’s Gina Winn called the incident “a horrible, horrible event,” adding that Schmidt, a young father and serviceman, faces grim circumstances.

The church where Schmidt worked as outreach director, Victory Chapel, shared news on his condition. The church urged its congregation to keep praying while mentioning the family’s optimism derived from several encouraging signs they observed.

As police continue their investigations into the shooting, tips from the public that could help identify the assailant are welcome. According to officials, it remains uncertain whether the attack targeted Schmidt explicitly or was a senseless assault.

The police appreciate the crime scene’s high-traffic nature and believe that witnesses could provide crucial details about the incident. Glendale’s police’s public information officer, Gina Winn, stressed the authorities belief that someone in the Valley has key information about the shooting, urging potential witnesses to get in touch.

Paul Sanchez, an employee in the vicinity where Schmidt was shot, recounted to AZ Family that Schmidt frequently encountered verbal abuse from passers-by as he preached. According to Sanchez, Schmidt was the target of derogatory comments, with people shouting at him to clear the street. Sanchez expressed shock over the hostility escalating into violence.

Following the incident, locals such as Sanchez’s coworker, James, are reportedly raising their guard. James was more concerned about the danger of the congested area, fearing a vehicle could hit someone rather than a shooting occurrence. He resolved to take extra security measures like ensuring adequate staff during late hours and enhancing overall alertness around the surroundings.

The irregular shooting has so far not led to any arrests. The Glendale Police Department, however, remains hopeful, insisting that there are additional witnesses who could shed light on the incident.