Arizona Christian Man Clinging To Life After Being Attacked For Street Preaching
A 26-year-old Christian man is fighting for his life after being shot in the head while preaching on a street corner in Glendale, Arizona. The victim, identified as Hans Schmidt, was standing at the corner of 51st Avenue and Peoria on Wednesday evening, telling passersby about a church service being held that evening.
According to witnesses, at around 6:00 p.m., a person approached Schmidt and shot him before fleeing the scene. Schmidt, a military veteran and father of two young children, including a two-month-old baby, was rushed to the hospital where he remains in critical condition.
Zulya, Schmidt’s wife, posted on Instagram, “My husband was shot in the head yesterday while street preaching on the corner of 51st Ave and Peoria If anyone has any info please contact 911. Thank you for your prayers. Believing God has the final say. I love you so much babe.”
Schmidt serves as the outreach director at Victory Chapel, a local church, which posted an update on his condition on Thursday. The church shared that upon arriving at the emergency room, Schmidt began seizing and had to be intubated. There has been some movement, although doctors are uncertain how much is voluntary. They have also drained fluid from his brain. Schmidt remains in critical condition, and the church has asked for continued prayers for his recovery.
Friday morning, Schmidt’s wife posted again on Instagram, writing, “I love you my handsome cowboy. Keep fighting papi. We need you!!”
Paul Sanchez, who works at a nearby business, witnessed the incident and shared that Schmidt had been preaching when a car pulled up next to him, and the passengers started yelling and cursing at him. “There was a lot of everything, really, hateful comments, people yelling at him, ‘get off the street,’ all sorts of mean things,” Sanchez told 3TV and CBS 5 News.
Sanchez was shocked when the situation escalated, as Schmidt never responded to any of the insults directed at him.
Another witness, Henry Branch, who lives near the intersection where the shooting took place, said he was stunned to hear about what happened. “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.”
The Glendale Police Department is still searching for a suspect and is asking anyone with information about the shooting to come forward. Gina Winn, spokesperson for the department, urged witnesses to call the Glendale Police Department or Silent Witness if they saw any suspicious individuals or vehicles in the area at the time of the shooting.
The motive behind the shooting is unknown, and it is unclear whether Schmidt was shot by someone driving by in a car or approached by a person on foot. The community and Schmidt’s family and friends are hoping for a speedy recovery and justice for the senseless act of violence against a man dedicated to spreading love and hope to those around him.