An Arizona church leader is reportedly in critical condition after being shot in the head while street preaching, according to a statement posted on the Victory Chapel First Phoenix website.
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“Our outreach director, Hans Schmidt, was shot while street preaching on Wednesday night (Nov 15th) before service,” the statement reads. “He is in critical condition and in desperate need of a miracle.”
An update on Nov. 16 offered additional context, explaining Schmidt, a 26-year-old dad of two, was taken to the hospital on suspicion of having been assaulted. But a CT scan revealed he had been shot.
“He began seizing and was intubated,” the statement reads. “There has been some movement; however, physicians are uncertain how much is voluntary and began draining fluid from his brain.”
According to Blaze Media, the incident unfolded in Glendale, Arizona, with authorities investigating the shooting after initially receiving a report someone had been assaulted.
The suspect has not yet been apprehended, and it’s unclear whether the assailant shot Schmidt from a vehicle or was on foot, KNXV-TV reported.
Friends, family, and locals are shocked and asking for prayer.
“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,” Henry Branch, a local resident, told local media. “He’s out to help the community.”
Officer Gina Winn, public information official with the Glendale Police Department, said the horrific event is a “horrible, horrible offense,” and said authorities believe someone in the community knows information about what unfolded.
“We have a 26-year-old who was a military medic,” she said. “He is recently married, he has two small children, and he’s currently in a critical state.”
Schmidt’s wife, Zulya, posted a photo of her husband Friday with an encouraging message of hope that he will fight through and heal.
“I love you my handsome cowboy,” she wrote. “Keep fighting, papi. We need you!!”
She also posted Thursday, explaining what unfolded and thanking people for their prayers.
“Believing God has the final say,” Zulya added.
Please pray for Schmidt’s healing and for the entire family — and community — as they navigate this nightmare.
Victory Chapel First Phoenix is collecting donations for the family here.
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