Young Christian Leader Shot While Preaching The Gospel

A young Christian leader is in critical condition after being shot in the head while preaching on a street corner in Glendale, Arizona, Wednesday evening.

It was reported that Hans Schmidt, 26, was standing on the northwest corner of 51st and Peoria Avenues preaching the gospel on his megaphone, something he often did before helping lead church services. On this day, an unknown suspect shot him in the head.

Schmidt is the outreach director at Victory Chapel First Phoenix, located on West Peoria, just blocks away from where the shooting occurred.

“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,” said Henry Branch, a nearby resident. “He’s out to help the community.”

Paul Sanchez, a witness who works close to where the shooting occurred, said he saw some people drive by, screaming and cursing at Schmidt as he preached.

“There was a lot of everything, really, hateful comments, people yelling at him, ‘get off the street,’ all sorts of mean things,” he said. Sanchez added that he was shocked when the situation escalated since Schmidt never responded to anyone who yelled at him.

Investigators are trying to determine whether Schmidt was shot by someone on foot or someone driving by.

Fellow Christians took to social media to share their support and pray for Schmidt and his family.

The Victory Chapel wrote in a statement Thursday that, “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.”

The church has also set up donations for medical expenses, stating, “He is in critical condition and in desperate need of a miracle.”

Schmidt remains in critical condition as of Friday.

No arrests have been made, but Glendale Police are asking anyone with information to contact the department.