Maryland firefighters shot

This photo provided by Prince George County shows Prince George County Firefighter/Medic John Ulmshneider. Police are trying to determine why a person opened fire on firefighters who were responding to a call for help at a home in a Maryland suburb of Washington. Ulmshneider was shot and killed while making a welfare check and another remains in serious condition, officials said.  Maryland firefighters shot

Maryland firefighters shot

Last week Kevin Swain, a 19-year-old volunteer firefighter, was shot four times while answering a 911 call on Sharon Road. Firefighter and paramedicJohn Ulmschneider, 39, died from injuries suffered during the shooting.  The resident’s brother was also wounded.

According to police the man opened fire on emergency responders who entered his home after he didn’t answer the door.

 According to John Erzen spokesman for the Prince George’s State’s Attorney’s office, the incident is now being described as a tragic mistake by the resident’s sister. John Erzen.
 The brother who showed up at the house with the emergency responders suffered minor injuries during the shooting, police said. He called authorities out of concern that his brother wasn’t answering his phone or door. He claimed that his brother had recently blacked out and had issues controlling his blood sugar.

The firefighters “acted in a crisis situation and I believe they did everything right that night with the information that they had,” Fire Chief Marc Bashoor told NBC Washington. He said he was two hours south of Buffalo when he heard the news, and “You can’t even put the pit that was in my stomach into words. You just can’t.”

Andrew Pantelis, the president of the firefighters union, told NBC Washington that Ulmschneider “was just always a class act. A tough firefighter that always wanted to get the job done and always cared about other people.”

Prince George’s County Fire spokesman Mark Brady said medics made the correct decision to enter the home and that it is “fairly routine” when there’s concern about someone’s medical safety.

Police have not released the name of the resident, who was taken into police custody but was released on Saturday.  He has not been charged.

Meanwhile, funeral arrangements were set for Ulmschneider, who leaves behind a wife and a 2-year-old daughter. His colleagues set up a YouCaring page for his family. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered the state’s flag to be flown at half-staff in Ulmschneider’s memory.

Swain, who is from Sykesville, was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. He was surrounded by members of the firefighting community when he was taken into surgery Friday.