A 13-year veteran of the fire service has been killed and a volunteer firefighter critically injured after a shooting in a Maryland suburb of Washington.
John Ulmschneider, 37, died Friday night at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, while Kevin Swain, 23, was reported to be undergoing emergency surgery at Shock Trauma in Baltimore.
Ulmschneider, who was nicknamed ‘Skillet’, was a father and husband, while images from Swain’s Facebook show him with girlfriend Betty-Ann Humbert, who he had been dating for 17 months.
The pair were wounded while answering a call at a property in the Temple Hills area near Washington D.C. at around 7.30pm.
Firefighters were called to the property by a concerned relative saying another man in the house was in need of medical attention.
When they arrived on the scene, the person inside was unresponsive and the property locked, so they decided to force entry, police Chief Henry P. Stawinski III said.
As that was happening, the person inside fired several rounds through the door, striking the two firefighters and the relative who had initially made the call for a welfare check.
Ulmschneider was hit in the chest and later died from the wound. Swain was shot multiple times in the body and transported to hospital in critical condition.
Stawinski said that once officers got into the home, the gunfire stopped. He added that no officers had fired their weapons.
The civilian was not seriously injured, according to the police chief, while the other person inside the home has been taken into custody and cooperating with police, Stawinski said.
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker told Fox 5: ‘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.
‘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.’