A complex and deadly crime spree in Tucson, Arizona, saw a suspect set fire to a house, shoot at multiple emergency responders, and kill two people, police say.
Several children who were reported to be missing in the hours after the attack have since been found and are said to be “safe.”
The Sunday rampage unfolded at three different crime scenes.
Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said the fire department was dispatched to a blaze mid-afternoon, and, at “pretty much” the same time, EMTs were sent to a medical emergency at a park near the scene of the fire.
According to Magnus, the suspect got out of his silver SUV at the park and unloaded his firearm at the EMTs, hitting the driver in the head and the passenger in the arm and chest. Then, as fire crews were dealing with the blaze, the same suspect arrived at the scene and “start[ed] firing at both the fire department personnel and the neighbors,” said Magnus.
At the blazing residence, one fire captain was shot in the arm and a neighbor died after being shot in the head, according to police. A burned body was found inside the house in the rampage’s second fatality. Police reportedly believe that the fire was set by the shooter.
After the suspect fled the second crime scene, he was pursued by a police vehicle and rammed his SUV into the responding officer’s car. Then the officer managed to get out of his vehicle and fire his weapon at the 35-year-old suspect, who was reportedly left in critical condition. Police said they believe he is the lone suspect from all three of the crime scenes.
The EMT driver who was shot is also critically injured, according to police, but the other emergency responders and neighbors who were hit are believed to have suffered minor injuries. The two people who were killed have not been named and it’s not known if the suspect knew either victim.
News outlet KOLD reports the EMT driver is 20 years old; the second EMT is 21 and was reported to have called for help and described the suspect and his vehicle.
The complicated situation took another turn when authorities announced that “two or three” children who are “associated” with the burning residence were unaccounted for. But by morning, police said the kids were found and were safe. Magnus described the rampage as a “highly tragic, really horrific incident with many unknowns,” saying it will require a “lengthy and complex” investigation.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said in a statement on Twitter: “I ask our entire Tucson community to join me in thinking about and praying for the victims of this afternoon’s fire and shooting by Silverlake Park, including first responders from AMR and the Tucson Fire Department.”
The mayor added: “This was a horrific and senseless act of violence.”