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Man shot in head after preaching on street and urging people to attend church

Claire Thornton

A man is in critical condition after being shot in the head while preaching Wednesday on a street corner in a Phoenix suburb.

Hans Schmidt, 26, was shot near Victory Chapel — the church where he serves as outreach director — at around 6:15 p.m. Wednesday before a service began, the church said. No arrests have been made, according to the Glendale, Arizona, police department.

"Family's just devastated. We all are," said Victory Chapel Pastor Gary Marsh told The Arizona Republic, part of the ӣƵ Network, on Friday.

Victory Chapel is a Pentecostal church and its services draw about a hundred attendees, according to Marsh. At the time of the shooting, Schmidt had been preaching, asking people attend a service.

"We do believe in evangelism. That's why there's young men standing in the corner preaching the gospel," Marsh said.

Schmidt was in critical condition as of Friday, when the church posted an saying his family "is encouraged by what they are seeing."

Police said Friday they believe there may be additional witnesses with information about the case.

Glendale is located about nine miles northwest of Phoenix.

Schmidt, who is also a former military combat medic, has a wife and two children, according to a post on the church's homepage calling for donations for medical expenses.

A man who works at a nearby automotive repair shop told The Republic that he often saw Schmidt preaching using a megaphone along with a couple other people from Victory Chapel.

"He wasn't being hateful," Paul Sanchez said.

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