Sunday July 19, 2021, what Tucson police are calling a "nightmare scenario" occurred, after an armed gunman intentionally targeted different groups of first responders, killing one and critically injuring four others.
The first crime scene took place at Silverlake Park, where the suspect later identified as 35-year-old Leslie Scarlett, began opening fire on an ambulance. As the ambulance arrived, Scarlett exited his SUV, approached the ambulance, and began firing multiple shots into the drivers side window. The ambulance driver was struck in the head and the passenger EMT was struck in the chest and arm. Recent reports have stated one EMT is in very critical condition and the other is in stable non-life threatening condition.
The second crime scene was at a housefire not far from the first incident. As firefighters responded to the housefire to fight the flames, they were met by Scarlett. As the neighborhood locals assisted the firefighters, responding police officers spotted a male, nonchalantly reloading a firearm in the middle of the street. Upon reloading, eye-witness reports state "he began shooting at anybody and anything".
Of those shot, was 44-year-old Cory Saunders, who was struck in the head. Saunders was pronounced deceased on the scene. Another neighbor was grazed by a bullet and one firefighter was struck in the arm. It was also found later that evening, a deceased individual was found in the burning home. Due to the incident, firefighters were unable to extinguish the fire in a timely manner. The body located in the home was badly burnt and unidentifiable.
After fleeing the scene in his SUV yet again, patrolling officers in the area spotted the suspect at an intersection nearby. The third and final scene took place, when Officer Danny Leon, and 8-year veteran of the force was slammed into by Scarlett's SUV.
Moments after being struck, officer Leon exited his police cruiser, taking small arms fire from Scarlett. After taking a hard cover position behind his police cruiser, officer Leon began returning fire, striking Scarlett in the head. Officers approached Scarlett, as he lay face down in the dirt and removed his firearm. Upon retrieving the weapon, officer Leon immediately began evaluating Scarlett and treating his wounds until medical transport arrived. Scarlett was transported to a local medical facility where he was labeled in extremely critical condition.
As a recap, this is the full breakdown and status of all individuals involved:
Tucson Fire Captain- minor injuries
20-year-old EMT shot- extremely critical
21-year-old EMT- stable
44-year-old neighbor- (Corey Saunders) deceased
Neighbor- grazed by bullet- good condition
Burn victim in home- deceased
35-year-old suspect (Leslie Scarlett)- extremely critical