No Charges Against Man Who Shot Maryland Firefighters, Killing One

A man who shot two firefighters and his brother when they tried to render aid to him has been released from police custody, according to CNN. The man fatally shot one firefighter and shot another four times. The man’s name is not being released by authorities.

Firefighter shot in the line of duty
Firefighters shot in the line of duty. [Photo by Lukas Gojda/Shutterstock]
Prince George’s County Police spokesman made a statement regarding the release of the man.

“Yes, he was released from custody and as far as why charges have not been filed, call the state’s attorney office.”

The shooting occurred on Friday night in Temple Hills, a suburb of Washington, D.C. The man’s brother called for help when his brother would not respond to the door or to his phone, yet his car was parked in the driveway. He told authorities that his brother had been having trouble controlling his blood sugar and had recently passed out. He feared his brother was in need of medical attention.

Firefighters shot in the line of duty
Firefighter John Ulmschneider and Kevin Swain answers his last call. [Photo by Tyler Olsen/Shutterstock]
Benjamin Barksdale, assistant fire chief for Prince George’s County Fire Department said, “They knocked on the door and received no answer, so they began to force entry so they could render care.”

“As they were forcing entry, several shots were fired from the house through the door, striking two fire department personnel.”

“The firefighter medics made a decision that this was indeed a reason they needed to get into that house as soon as possible. Time could have been of the essence,” Mark Brady, a Prince George County Fire Department spokesman, said.

Angela Alsobrooks, the Prince George’s County state’s attorney, said, “The citizen’s brother thought he was in medical duress, called for assistance, and his brother did not realize the firefighters were there to assist him and reacted as if his house was being broken into.”

Firefighter John Ulmschneider, 39, was shot and killed. Kevin Swain, a 19-year-old firefighter, was shot four times, and the man’s brother who was in the yard was also shot. There were no police officers present at the time of the shooting. Swain was taken to surgery and is in serious condition. The shot fired on the brother is not life-threatening.

Ulmschneider was a paramedic and a firefighter. He was married with a 2-year-old daughter. Mark Brady described Ulmschneider as a “good old hard working country boy who loved his job.”

Diana Krieger, a relative of Ulmschneider said, “He wanted to help others, he loved doing what he was doing, being a paramedic and a firefighter, and I really believe that he was doing God’s work.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered the state’s flag to be flown at half-staff in memory of the fallen hero, John Ulmschneider, according to NBC News.

“His legacy as a husband, father and firefighter, and his commitment to protecting others, will not soon be forgotten by his loved ones, the community, or Maryland.”

Prince George’s County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association published a statement on their Facebook page.

“It is with profound sadness and a heavy heart that we inform you that our Brother, colleague, and friend John “Skillet” Ulmschneider was shot and killed in the line of duty this evening on the scene of an emergency incident. Additionally, a member of the Morningside Volunteer Fire Department was also shot and seriously injured on the same incident and is in guarded condition at Baltimore Shock Trauma. This is a day that we have all dreaded in our minds. We are keenly aware of the dangers of our profession but we have hoped that God would continue to watch over and protect our members.”

Kevin Swain, the second firefighter shot, is in serious condition but expected to recover.

Brady said that there would be a review of the department’s protocols and changes could possibly be made.

The State Attorney’s office said they do not have enough evidence to charge the man who shot the three men. The accused shooter said he feared that people were breaking into his house and shot in self-defense. The man was released on Saturday.

[Photo by Bladensburg Volunteer Fire Department/Facebook]

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