TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Tucson Police are investigating Sunday evening's shooting incident as an officer-involved shooting.
A shooting incident Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus called "horrific" left multiple people injured, including an ambulance crew, and two people dead Sunday evening.
The incident took place over three locations and involved a Tucson Fire crew, Tucson Police officers, an AMR ambulance crew and neighbors near the original fire scene.
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According to Magnus, it started at around 3:45 p.m. when TFD received a call of a house fire on the 2100 block of East Irene Vista. At the same time, an AMR ambulance with two EMTs were parked in the parking lot of Silverlake Park, near the Quincie Douglas Community Center located at 1575 E. 36th Street, on an unrelated call.
Watch Chief Magnus's full news conference in the player below:
Not long after the EMTs arrived at the park, Magnus says a man approached in a silver SUV and fired several shots at the ambulance, hitting the two EMTs inside. The 20-year-old man in the driver's side was hit in the head and is currently in critical condition. The other -- a 20-year-old woman -- was hit in the arm and chest and was able to call for emergency assistance after she was struck.
Back at the house fire on Irene Vista, multiple TFD trucks had arrived and several neighbors were out of their homes trying to help when the same silver SUV arrived at the scene and opened fire. A fire captain was hit in the arm and is in good condition, but a neighbor who has been identified as 44-year-old Cory Saunders was shot in the head and killed. Another neighbor's head was grazed by a bullet, Magnus said, but is in good condition. Amid the shooting and chaos, one person died in the house fire but due to the condition of the body investigators weren't able to determine the victim's age or gender.
Saunders witnessed a fire at his neighbor’s house and made his way to help with getting the possible occupants out and flag down responding TFD personnel, when he was approached by the suspect, according to a press release from TPD. During that time, a confrontation occurred and the suspect discharged his firearm, ultimately striking Saunders.
The other neighbor was also confronted by the suspect who then discharged his firearm, which resulted in minor injuries, according to TPD.
In a tweet late Sunday night, TFD Chief Chuck Ryan said the fire captain who was shot -- a 17-year veteran of the department -- had been treated and released from the hospital.
We are shocked and saddened at this senseless act, and we are praying for our injured partners from AMR Ambulance. Also, I am thankful for the swift actions of our #TucsonPolice to neutralize the threat to the community. More to come, but a dark day for Tucson. 2/2— TFDChiefChuckRyan (@TFDChiefRyan) July 19, 2021
Three children associated with the home that caught fire were missing after the incident Sunday night but were located alive and safe Monday morning.
The three missing children associated with the burned house have been located and are safe. We will have a press briefing with updates about this case today at 4 p.m. Our thoughts are with the AMR EMTs, one who remains in critical condition.— Chris Magnus (@ChiefCMagnus) July 19, 2021
Soon after shots rang out at the house fire, a responding officer came upon the suspect SUV near the intersection of Campbell Avenue and Irene Vista. There, the suspect tried to ram his vehicle into the officer and the two exchanged gunfire. The 35-year-old suspect who was hit, was taken to Banner University Medical Center, where he died after several days.
Any charges will ultimately be determined based on his medical status, according to TPD.
Magnus says Officer Danny Leon who fired the shots is an 8-year veteran of the department.
After the incident Sunday night, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero released a statement:
MAP: What happened in Sunday night's shooting