Gun charges fol­low fire­man’s death

Ulm­schnei­der killed in April while re­spond­ing to 911 call in Tem­ple Hills

The Enquire-Gazette - - Front Page - By JOHN WHAR­TON jwhar­ton@somd­news.com

Prince Ge­orge’s County grand ju­rors have in­dicted a Tem­ple Hills man on gun charges, on­line court records state, ob­tained by pros­e­cu­tors in­ves­ti­gat­ing gun­shots fired last April at fire­fight­ers, in­clud­ing a St. Mary’s man who died.

Dar­rell Elsworth Lump­kin, 35, is ac­cused of il­le­gally pos­sess­ing last April a .380-cal­iber pis­tol, .40-cal­iber pis­tol and .25-cal­iber pis­tol after a pre­vi­ous felony con­vic­tion, ac­cord­ing to the on­line court records. The pros­e­cu­tors posted in­for­ma­tion about Lump­kin’s in­dict­ment on­line, not­ing that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion did not re­sult in charges against him of shoot­ing the fire­fight­ers.

John “Skil­let” Ulm­schnei­der, 37, was em­ployed as a fire­fighter and medic in Prince Ge­orge’s.

“The grand ju­rors de­clined to in­dict [Lump­kin] for shoot­ing” the fire­fight­ers, John Erzen II, the com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor for the Prince Ge­orge’s County State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice, said Thurs­day. “We put ev­ery­thing in front of the grand ju­rors. They

got all the ev­i­dence and all the pos­si­ble charges. They had the op­por­tu­nity to talk to peo­ple who were on the scene, or [re­view their] state­ments.”

On the night of April 15, Ulm­schnei­der and oth­ers re­sponded to a 911 call to check on the wel­fare of a home­owner in Tem­ple Hills. When Ulm­schnei­der and other first re­spon­ders de­ter­mined that they needed to force their way into the res­i­dence to find out if the home­owner was OK, ac­cord­ing to po­lice and fire of­fi­cials, the home­owner be­gan fir­ing gun­shots that mor­tally wounded Ulm­schnei­der and in­jured two other peo­ple, in­clud­ing a Morn­ing­side vol­un­teer fire­fighter and a fam­ily mem­ber of the oc­cu­pant.

Lump­kin was pro­hib­ited from pos­sess­ing firearms, the pros­e­cu­tors’ spokesper­son said, be­cause of a con­vic­tion dur­ing the 1980s for an as­sault of­fense in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

“The .380 [-cal­iber gun was] the weapon that he used in the shoot­ing,” Erzen said.

Ulm­schnei­der, a 13-year vet­eran of the fire de­part­ment who was nor­mally as­signed to a Lan­dover Hills sta­tion, lived with his wife and their 2-year-old daugh­ter in a water­side neigh­bor­hood in the Cal­i­for­nia area of St. Mary’s. His wife’s par­ents own a pro­duce farm near Leonard­town, and Ulm­schnei­der sold the pro­duce at two St. Mary’s farm­ers mar­kets on Satur­days, in Lex­ing­ton Park and the Her­manville area.

Ulm­schnei­der’s fu­neral at St. John Fran­cis Regis Church in Hol­ly­wood was at­tended by hun­dreds of fire­fight­ers, more first re­spon­ders, public of­fi­cials and other mourn­ers from through­out the re­gion.

The Rev. Ray­mond Sch­midt said at the fu­neral that he first met Ulm­schnei­der 30 years ago in Clin­ton, when the child who grew up to be a fire­fighter was a 7-year-old boy.

In­stead of hav­ing a chill­ing ef­fect on first re­spon­ders called into those sit­u­a­tions in the fu­ture, Sch­midt said that “John’s sac­ri­fice tells them with ever greater re­solve to do the right thing, ... for gen­er­a­tions to come.”

Gov. Larry Ho­gan (R) said at the fu­neral, “He lived and died a hero, and will never be for­got­ten. His mem­ory will live on through his fel­low fire­fight­ers.”

Ulm­schnei­der

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