No charges filed so far & man released after PGFD firefighter killed & another wounded

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Funeral Information for Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department Fire Fighter/Medic John “Skillet” Ulmschneider has been finalized and the information is as follows:

Tuesday April 19th from 5:00PM until 8:00PM
St. John’s Parish
43950 St. John’s Road
Hollywood, Maryland

Funeral Mass
Wednesday April 20th at 1:00PM
St. John’s Parish

Wednesday April 20th at 4:00PM
Hollywood Fire Department
24801 Three Notch Rd
Hollywood, Maryland


A man who opened fire on two firefighters and his brother while they tried to enter his home in Temple Hills, Maryland, to help him has been released from police custody, police said Saturday.

MD PG John Ernest Ulmschneider PGFD #14803
Firefighter/Medic John E. Ulmschneider “Skillet”

One of the firefighters, 37-year-old John Ulmschneider, died Friday night. He was shot multiple times.

Volunteer firefighter Kevin Swain, 19, also was shot, and was in serious but stable condition after coming out of surgery Saturday, department officials said.

Swain, who authorities say was shot four times, is expected to survive.

Firefighters had gone to the home after the brother of the man who lived there told authorities he was concerned about the man’s safety, said Mark Brady, spokesman for the fire department.

The man said his brother had trouble controlling his blood sugar and recently blacked out. He told authorities he was worried because his brother wasn’t answering the phone or the door and his car was parked in the driveway, Brady said.

When the firefighters arrived on the scene, the man inside was unresponsive, so they decided to force entry, police said. As that was happening, the man fired several rounds, striking two firefighters and his brother, authorities said.

MD PGFD Kevin Swain 2
Firefighter Kevin Swain

Police said that once officers got into the home, the gunfire stopped. There were no police officers present when the firefighters decided to enter the home, Prince George’s County Police Department spokeswoman Julie Parker said.

Fire officials said on Saturday the man apparently thought his house was being broken into.
Brady said that’s something firefighters do fairly routinely when there’s a concern about someone’s safety. He said anytime there is an incident such as this, the department will review its protocols and possibly make changes.

“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,” he said.
Brady said Ulmschneider, who went by the nickname “Skillet,” was described as a “good old hard working country boy who loved his job.”

Funeral arrangements for Ulmschneider were finalized Saturday.

A visitation will be held on Tuesday, April 19 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. John’s Parish in Hollywood, Maryland, fire officials said.

Ulmschneider’s funeral will be the following day, Wednesday, April 20, at St. John’s Parish. A private burial will follow the funeral Mass.

The ambulance that Ulmschneider drove is now draped in black bunting to serve as a memorial outside the fire station.

“Total shock and everybody woke up this morning with the realization that we had to deal with a line-of-duty death,” Brady said.

The brother of the man who lived at the home was not seriously injured, Prince George’s County police Chief Henry Stawinski said at a news conference.

“The main thing that we ask for the men and women of Prince George’s County are your prayers, your thoughts,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker.

Two other firefighters with the Morningside Volunteer Fire Department suffered minor injuries while seeking cover after the shooting. He says one firefighter injured a knee and the other injured her jaw. The two were treated at the hospital and released Saturday.

From PGPD:

Firefighter Fatally Shot, Second Wounded Answering Call in Temple Hills

Updated April 16, 2016: This evening, the Temple Hills homeowner who shot three people, two firefighters and the man’s brother who responded with the firefighters, has been released from police custody. Detectives continue to investigate the incident and are asking for anyone who may have additional details to contact our CID at 301-772-4925. No charges have been placed at this time.

The Prince George’s County Police Department is investigating the fatal shooting of a firefighter in Temple Hills. The fallen Firefighter/Medic is John Ulmschneider, a 13-year veteran of the Prince George’s County Fire Department. Volunteer firefighter, Kevin Swain, was also shot. He is in serious condition.

At about 7:30 pm, a relative called 911 expressing concern about a family member who lives in a home in the 5000 block of Sharon Road. PGFD personnel responded to check on the man. Shortly after arriving at the home, the man opened fire, striking two firefighters and the family member who made the initial 911 call. That family member’s injuries are not considered life-threatening.

Prince George’s County Police officers rushed to the scene and were able to take the shooter into custody. He is being interviewed by detectives. No charges have been filed at this time.

The Prince George’s County Police Department extends our deepest condolences for the loss of Firefighter/Medic Ulmschneider. His family and the entire PGFD are in our thoughts and prayers.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to www.pgcrimesolvers.com and submit a tip online.

From PGFD Chief Spokesman Mark Brady:

UPDATE on Condition of Morningside Volunteer Firefighter

The Morningside Volunteer Firefighter shot while on a call in Temple Hills on Friday night underwent surgery at the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. After a lengthy operation surgeons confirmed Kevin Swain was struck 4 times. Surgeons completed the operation early this morning. Swain is expected to survive his injuries.

Volunteer Firefighter Swain, 19 years of age, remains hospitalized in serious but stable condition. His family is with him as well as many members of the Morningside Volunteer Fire Department and the Baltimore City Fire Department that have provided support to our members since Swain arrived at Shock Trauma.

PGFD Suffers a Line of Duty Death and Serious Injury

Two other Morningside Volunteers members sustained injuries immediately after the shootings while seeking cover. One firefighter sustained a knee injury and another sustained injury to her jaw. Both members were treated at a local hospital and released early this morning.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor are expected to visit with Swain and his family early this afternoon at Shock Trauma.

Member of the media and public are asked to refrain from contacting the Morningside Volunteer Fire Department as they focus their attention to Kevin, their other injured members and coming to a realization of the incident that unfolded in front of them last night.

The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department is mourning the death of one of our own and praying for the best of a second member. Firefighter/Medic John E. Ulmschneider was shot and killed while on a call Friday evening. A Morningside Volunteer Firefighter, Kevin Swain, was shot multiple times and at last check was undergoing surgery.

At around 7:30 pm, Friday, April 15, fire/EMS units from Morningside Fire/EMS Station 827 and Paramedic Ambulance from Forestville Fire/EMS Station 823 with Ulmschneider on-board were alerted for a “check on the welfare” call whereas a family member could not contact another family member that resides in a home in the 5000 block of Sharon Road in Temple Hills.

After arriving on the scene and receiving no answer to knocks on the door and fearing for the occupants welfare a decision was made to force entry into the house to check on the occupant. As personnel initiated forcible entry several shots were fired from within the house striking Ulmschneider, Swain and a family member that called 911 initially. The home occupant/shooter quickly surrendered upon orders from the police.

Fire Fighter/Medic Ulmschneider, 37 years of age, was transported in extremely critical condition to Med Star Southern Maryland Hospital Center in Clinton suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper body. Despite the very best efforts of medics and hospital staff Ulmschneider succumbed to his injuries a short time after arriving at the hospital. John “Skillet” Ulmschneider lived in St. Mary’s County and was a 13-year member of the Fire/EMS Department. His normal duty assignment is at Landover Hills Fire/EMS Station 830. He leaves behind a wife and 2-year-old daughter.

Morningside Volunteer Fire Fighter Kevin Swain, 19 years of age, was flown from the scene by way of Maryland State Trooper 2 to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. He was in surgery at last check and listed in Serious Condition. Swain is expected to survive his injuries.

A third person, an adult male civilian, sustained a gunshot wound to his shoulder and transported to a local hospital for treatment. He was in Fair condition,

The County Police Department continues to investigate the incident.

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor informed the Department of the Line of Duty Death and asked, “Please keep all of our folks and their families in your thoughts and prayers as we work through this difficult time.”

Andrew Pantelis, President of the Prince George’s County Firefighters and Paramedics Association Local 1619, said in a written statement to his members, “This is a day that we have all dreaded in our minds. We are keenly aware of the dangers of our profession but we all have hoped that God would continue to look over and protect us. Now that tragedy has stricken us, we must not fall apart but stand strong and band together to support Skillet’s family and those who are closest to him.”

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