Suspect dead in Tucson shooting that killed 1, wounded first responders

Jul 22, 2021, 4:01 PM | Updated: 4:31 pm
Leslie Stephen Scarlett (Arizona Department of Corrections photo)...
Leslie Stephen Scarlett (Arizona Department of Corrections photo)
(Arizona Department of Corrections photo)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A convicted felon accused of fatally shooting at least one person and wounding four others, including firefighters and paramedics, during a house fire in Tucson last weekend has died at a hospital, police said Thursday.

Leslie Stephen Scarlett, 35, had been in extremely critical condition at a local hospital since being wounded in an exchange of gunfire with a police officer Sunday.

Scarlett died from his injuries Wednesday, police said.

A motive for the attack apparently remains unclear as police said detectives were continuing their investigation.

But the Arizona Daily Star reported Thursday that a badly burned body found inside the home was Scarlett’s girlfriend.

Police said Thursday that the body was identified as 36-year-old Jennifer Fells and an autopsy showed she suffered gunshot trauma. But they didn’t immediately confirm the woman’s link to the suspect.

Scarlett drove up to the house fire and fired shots at an ambulance crew that was on standby for another incident, according to police.

The ambulance driver, a 20-year-old man, was shot in the head, and a paramedic in the passenger seat, a 21-year-old woman, was shot in the chest and arm, police said.

The suspect then opened fire on firefighters and neighbors trying to douse the flames.

A neighbor — identified as 44-year-old Cory Michael Saunders — was fatally shot, a firefighter was shot in the arm, and another bullet grazed another neighbor’s head.

A responding police officer encountered the suspect a couple of blocks away. Police said the man rammed his SUV into the officer’s vehicle and opened fire.

The officer was uninjured and returned fire, critically wounding Scarlett.

According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, Scarlett had a criminal history that included a 2007 conviction for an attempted armed robbery. He was sentenced to six years in prison and released in 2013.

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