Church leader in AZ fights for his life after being shot in the head while preaching on street corner

Street preacher shot in the head in Arizona is fighting for his life after a “bullet traveled through his brain,” leaving family and community “hoping for a miracle.”

(Video: Fox 10 Phoenix)

Wednesday in Glendale, Arizona, 26-year-old Hans Schmidt, the outreach director of Victory Chapel, was said to be nearby encouraging the public to attend service when the unexpected happened. Now, the husband and father of two remains in a “critical state” as police implored witnesses to come forward.

“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,” wrote Schmidt’s wife Zulya on Instagram Thursday. “Thank you for your prayers. Believing God has the final say. I love you so much babe.”

A follow-up post from Friday said, “I love you my handsome cowboy. Keep fighting papi. We need you!!”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Zulya Schmidt (@zulyaay)

In his own social media post, the victim’s father Eric Schmidt detailed, “This is my son, Hans. On the night of Wednesday, Nov 15th 2023, he was shot in the head while attending a church outreach on the street at the intersection of 51st Ave and Peoria in Glendale, AZ.”

“Single entry point on the side on the left temple. The bullet traveled through his brain and is still inside on the right side of his head. No one heard the shot or saw where it came from,” he continued. “Police detectives reviewed the intersection video footage. He initially fell but got back up and was walking and talking but bleeding. No one had realized what happened at first. He had started seizures and vomiting and they. took him to the hospital.”

“At the time of this post, he is sedated and stable on life support. They are draining fluid from his head to relieve pressure on his brain. So far they are saying it’s inoperable. It’s an incredibly sad situation,” Schmidt lamented. “We are hoping for a miracle. If you have any information about the shooting, please contact the police.”

Speaking with the press, Glendale Police Department public information officer Gina Winn remarked, “This is a horrible, horrible event. We have a 26-year-old who is a military man, who was recently married and has two small children. He’s in critical state.”

“51st and Peoria is a very busy intersection, so we know for a fact that there were people within the area. There were vehicles driving within the area, so we believe there is somebody within the Valley that does know something about what happened,” she added. “We believe there is someone in the Vally who knows what happened. If you saw an individual or vehicle, you’re asked to call the Glendale Police Department.”

With their own update from Friday, Victory Chapel expressed, “The family is encouraged by what they are seeing. Please continue to lift Hans up in prayer.”

Speaking with Fox 10 outside the church, local Robert Waldrep described how he had come to prayer for the young father, “I just heard about this tragedy, and wanted to come by and offer prayers and anything I could do to offer a blessing over the family and over Hans himself.”

While it remained unclear where the shot originated from, local employee Paul Sanches told AZ Family he regularly saw Schmidt berated by passersby. “There was a lot of everything, really — hateful comments, people yelling at him, ‘Get off the street,’ all sorts of mean things.”

A crowdfunding page had been set up by a friend of the family with a goal of raising $20,000 in support.


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