A Maryland firefighter is dead and another is seriously injured after a call about a medical emergency went horribly wrong on Friday night. Police in Prince George's County say the two firefighters went to a home in the Washington suburb of Temple Hills after receiving a call from a person worried about a relative's condition, the AP reports. Police say that when nobody responded to a knock on the door, the firefighters attempted to gain entry for a welfare check and were shot by the 61-year-old man the concerned relative had called about, reports the Washington Post. The relative who made the phone call was also injured, though not life-threateningly.
Police say that when the gunfire stopped, officers entered the home and took the occupant into custody without firing shots. "Will it ever end? God, I hope so," Prince George's Police Chief Henry Stawinski said of the violence. The fallen firefighter has been identified as John Ulmschneider, a 39-year-old husband and father who had been with the fire department for 13 years. His colleague, 19-year-old volunteer firefighter Kevin Swain, is in serious condition but is expected to recover. The Post reports that at a press conference, at least one official suggested that the shooting may have happened because of a tragic misunderstanding. No charges have been filed yet and police say the man in custody is cooperating.