Wife of Arizona street preacher shot in head says God is her peace

Hans and Zulya Schmidt
Hans and Zulya Schmidt | GoFundMe/Brad Currell on behalf of Zulya Schmidt

The wife of an Arizona man who was shot in the head while street preaching says her husband is slowly recovering each day and she's witnessing “miracles” despite doctors' initial prognosis that he might not survive. 

Zulya Schmidt, wife of 26-year-old Hans Schmidt, told Billy Hallowell on CBN News that her husband, who was shot in the head on Nov. 15, is making “stunning progress," even though they face many challenges and uncertainties ahead. 

“We’re hopeful and we’re praying, and we’re contending for a supernatural recovery,” Zulya Schmidt said. “There’s just so much unknown still, so much uncertainty, [but] every day we’ve been able to witness a miracle.”

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Hans' recovery is “just amazing,” said the mother of two, adding that her husband is now better able to comprehend what happened to him than when he was first rushed to the hospital.  

Even with Hans' progress, he remains unable to communicate verbally.

Hans, a military veteran, worked as the outreach director at Victory Chapel First Phoenix in Arizona. 

Known for evangelizing, Hans was street preaching when he was shot in the head. The suspect remains at large.

It was initially believed by his wife and medical staff that he had been assaulted at the scene because blood was dripping from his face but there was no indication he had been shot. 

After being rushed to the hospital he had a seizure and a CT scan revealed he had been shot in the head.  

Hans' wife and family have maintained their prayerful pleas to God for a miracle and they've requested that Christians across the nation join them in praying for his recovery. 

Zulya told CBN News that Hans had been street preaching for more than a year before the attack. 

“He’s been doing that for over a year, and usually he street preaches for 30 minutes before every evening service for our church,” she said.

“That day, he just ended street preaching early and I thought that was odd.”

After he was shot, Zulya said her husband immediately put the sound system back into the car and drove to the church. 

She noticed her husband was bleeding and her initial thought was that someone had thrown a bottle at him while he was preaching or injured him in some other way.

“I had no idea what really had happened,” she said. “He drove our vehicle to the church [and] unloaded the sound system.”

Zulya said she became concerned about her husband’s bleeding and told him he needed to go to the hospital. On the way to the hospital she said he started vomiting and when they reached the emergency room he was seizing.

The doctors treating him didn't initially realize Hans had been shot in the head. It was only after a CT scan that doctors discovered the bullet.

By the time the CT scan was taken, Hans had already become unresponsive.

“My heart sank,” Zulya told CBN. “I just felt sick to my stomach.”

Even after neurosurgeons told her that due to the bullet's location surgery to remove it was not an option and hearing a detective say "we’ll know more after the autopsy," Zulya said her faith continues to sustain her daily as she fights for her husband. 

Zulya also said she's surprised by how much peace she's had through the unimaginable and knows that God is the reason she's been able to persevere through the uncertainties. 

“I know God has a plan in all of this, because there’s no other way to explain it. … The ugliness that I would see and just the peace that I had,” she said. “I remember … when he was in the ICU, [I said], ‘Everything’s going to be alright.'”

Nicole Alcindor is a reporter for The Christian Post. 

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