(TEMPE HILLS, Md.) — The Prince George’s County, Maryland, fire department is mourning the death of John Ulmschneider, a 13-year veteran firefighter who was shot and killed while responding to a welfare check Friday night.
Ulmschneider, who is survived by his wife and 2-year-old daughter, died after he and firefighter Kevin Swain entered a home for a “check on the welfare” call and were shot at by someone inside, the Prince George’s County fire department said.
Ulmschneider, 37, was hospitalized in extremely critical condition with a gunshot wound to the upper body, the fire department said. He died at Med Star Southern Maryland Hospital Center.
Meanwhile, Swain, 19, a volunteer firefighter who was shot four times, is expected to survive his injuries, officials said Saturday.
Swain underwent surgery at the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Surgeons completed the operation early Saturday morning and Swain remains hospitalized in serious but stable condition, officials said.
Just visited with Kevin. His message to all: “I’m alright.”
— Sykesville Fire Dept (@SykesvilleFD) April 16, 2016
The incident began around 7:30 p.m. Friday when firefighters responded to a “check on the welfare” call in Temple Hills, after someone had reported that they could not contact another family member who lives in the home, the fire department said.
After no one answered the door, firefighters entered, and someone fired at Ulmschneider, Swain and the family member who had called 911, the fire department said.
The family member’s injuries are not considered life-threatening, the Prince George’s County Police Department said.
Officials said Saturday that two other Morningside Volunteers members were injured while seeking cover during the shooting — one firefighter sustained a knee injury and another sustained a jaw injury. Both were treated at a hospital and released early Saturday morning.
The suspected shooter, whose identity was not released, was taken into custody and was released after being questioned, a police spokesman said. Since no charges have been formally filed, the shooter could not be held, the spokesman said, adding that the investigation was ongoing.
Mark Brady, Public Information Officer for Prince George’s County Fire, said the suspected shooter and the 911 caller are brothers. The brother who called 911 told authorities his brother had been having trouble with his blood sugar and recently blacked out, and he was concerned because his brother wasn’t answering his phone or the door, Brady said.
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