Arizona Pastor Shot While Street Preaching Miraculously Awake and Recovering

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An Arizona pastor who was shot in the head while street preaching is awake, according to

Hans Schmidt, 26, was promoting Victory Chapel First Phoenix Church in Arizona in early November when he was shot from behind. Traffic footage from the Nov. 15 shooting shows a white Nissan crossover near Schmidt as well as other cars, but police have said they aren’t sure if the shooter was inside the car or not.

Schmidt, a husband and father and former military combat medic, was initially listed in critical condition. Still, his wife, Zulya Schmidt, recently posted on social media that her husband was awake.

“In the blink of an eye, our lives were changed. You are a living miracle,” said his wife, Zulya Schmidt, in the post. “Every day, I am amazed seeing you hold our baby boy again. Waving at our baby girl. You have a long way to go, but God will carry us through.”

Schmidt’s father, Eric Schmidt, also told ABC 15  in Arizona that the 26-year-old has been moved into a long-term facility in the hospital for recovery.

“Hopefully, he keeps trending positively the way it’s been going because he’s still in a delicate condition,” he said.

Schmidt is the outreach director for Victory Chapel. According to Arizona Central, the church has an average attendance of about 100 people weekly.

Zulya said in an interview with CBN News that the family is thankful for the outpouring of prayers.

“That’s the only way I can explain it. There have been moments where I’m like, how am I this okay? I even feel guilty for not crying,” she said. “I know God has a plan in all of this because there is no other way to explain it.”

The police are offering a $10,000 reward for information that could lead to an arrest of Schmidt’s shooter.

“Now, 51st Avenue is a bustling intersection, so we know that there were people in the area, vehicles were driving within the area,” Officer Gina Winn said during a Nov. 16 news conference. “So we believe there is somebody within the Valley that does know something about what happened.”


Photo Courtesy: Facebook/@Zula Schmidt/12/21/23@11:04pm

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

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