A religious leader in Arizona is fighting for his life after being shot in the head earlier this week while preaching on a street corner in Glendale.
Hans Schmidt, 26, a military medic and the Christian father of two children, was shot Wednesday around 6:15 p.m. in the area of 51st Avenue and Peoria, according to local authorities.
Schmidt, who recently moved to Arizona, is in critical condition and was preaching on the streets and promoting an upcoming church service.
“This is an awful, terrible event. A 26-year-old military man recently married with two young children is the subject of our investigation. Gina Winn, of the Glendale Police Department said that he was in a critical condition.
Victory Chapel in Los Angeles, where Schmidt was outreach director, provided an update Friday on Schmidt’s health. The church stated that “the family is encouraged” by what they see and asked for prayers to continue.
Authorities are investigating the shooting and seeking information to determine who is responsible. Authorities are unsure at this point if Schmidt was the target of the attack or if it was an act of random violence.
“51st Avenue is a busy intersection. We know that people were in the area.” Winn, Glendale Police’s public information officer, said that there were cars driving in the area. “We believe someone within the Valley knows something about what happened,” he added. “We think there’s someone in the Valley that knows what happened.” Glendale Police Department asks that you call them if you see an individual or a vehicle.
Paul Sanchez, a nearby worker in the area of the shooting, told AZ Family people would scream at Schmidt and curse him when he preached.
Sanchez was shocked at the rapid escalation of the situation.
@GlendaleAZPD spokeswoman Gina Winn hoping witnesses come forward leading to arrest of person who shot Veteran Hans Schmidt 51st Ave & Peoria. He was shot around 6pm Nov. 15th while standing on the corner peaching ,he remains in critical condition #fox10phoenix pic.twitter.com/D2oyAQ0V8l
— Rick Davis (@rdavisfox10) November 17, 2023
After the shooting, police asked the owner of Jesse James Comics to move his car. He expressed disbelief at the situation.
James said, “When I left, the traffic had been changed to only one lane.
James is now more aware of what’s going on around him after learning about the incident. It’s a very congested area. . . I thought they would be hit by a vehicle. “I didn’t realize they would be shot”, James said.
He added, “I think that after tonight we need to just take those extra measures.” “Closing the deal at the right moment. . . We make sure to have more people on the floor at night. . . Just be more aware of your surroundings.”
No arrests have yet been made for the shooting. In a statement, the Glendale Police Department stated that they believe there may be additional witnesses who can provide information on what happened.
Winn stated that it was important for the public to reach out with any information they may have so that we can bring Hans and his family justice.