TEMPLE HILLS, Md. - A Prince George's County firefighter-paramedic died and another volunteer firefighter was wounded when they were shot while making a medical welfare check at a home in Temple Hills, Md. Friday night, authorities said. A third person, a civilian, was also shot.
The fallen firefighter-paramedic was identified as 37-year-old John Ulmschneider, a 13-year veteran of the Prince George's County Fire and EMS Department. The other firefighter injured in the shooting was identified as 19-year-old Kevin Swain, a firefighter for the Morningside Volunteer Fire Department.
The firefighters were responding with police officers to a 911 call for a medical welfare check at a single-family home in the 5000 block of Sharon Road at around 7:30 p.m. Police said a concerned resident called for assistance, believing a relative was possibly suffering a medical emergency inside the home.
Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said the person inside the home did not answer to a knock at the door by authorities, and a decision was made to enter the house to check on the individual. As they were attempting to enter, the person in the home fired several shots through the door, hitting the two firefighters as well as the concerned relative who made the call.
Ulmschneider was shot in the chest and transported to MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center where he later died. According to Prince George's County Fire and EMS spokesperson Mark Brady, Swain sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was flown by helicopter to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where he underwent surgery. He is currently listed as being in critical condition.
According to a post by Prince George's County Fire Department spokesman Mark Brady, John "Skillet" Ulmschneider lived in St. Mary's County. His normal duty assignment is at Landover Hills Fire/EMS Station 830. Ulnschneider leaves behind a wife and 2-year-old daughter.
"Once again, unfortunately, I've got to go before the people of Prince George's County and let them know that we have lost another one of our brave firefighters doing what they do every day," said Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker. "These men and women put their lives on the line, and unfortunately tonight, we lost one of them … This is a sad day in Prince George's County."
The relative was shot in the shoulder, but that person's injuries are not considered serious.
Police said no officer fired any gunshots and the gunman in the home was taken into custody at the time.
Saturday evening, the Temple Hills homeowner has been released from police custody. Detectives continue to investigate the incident and are asking for anyone who may have additional details to contact them. No charges have been placed at this time.
Brady told FOX 5 that since the Fire and EMS Department was formed back in 1970 in Prince George's County, it never had a firefighter shot while on duty until now.
A fundraising page has been started to assist Ulmschneider's wife and young daughter. It can be found here.