TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Officials are reporting that a Deputy U.S. Marshal was killed in an officer-involved shooting in midtown near Oracle and Glenn on Thursday, Nov. 29.
According to the Associated Press officials identified the deputy marshal on Friday, Nov. 30, as 41-year-old Chase White. He worked for the Marshals Service since 2015.
The U.S. Marshals Service says White was shot about 5:30 p.m. Thursday and died later at Banner-University Medical Center Hospital.
The Marshals Service said White was an Air Force reservist who was preparing for deployment. He was married and had 4 children.
Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said the victim was among Marshals Service personnel serving a warrant for 26-year-old Ryan Schlesinger when the suspect opened fire. Marshals returned fire, but the suspect was unhurt. Schlesinger was arrested after a standoff at the house.
According to a criminal complaint dated Nov. 30, law enforcement officials were serving an arrest warrant at a home in the 2600 block of N. 15th Avenue on Schlesinger for alleged stalking of a sergeant in the Tucson Police Department. While trying to force entry, he allegedly fired on the agents, striking White.
Tucson police, including the sergeant who he is accused of stalking, had previous contact with Schlesinger on Nov. 18, 2017, while serving a Title 36 emergency petition, according to the complaint. While there, Schlesinger allegedly threatened to kill officers and reached for a loaded handgun. Police used a stun gun on him and he was taken into custody.
In April of 2018, Schlesinger began emailing Tucson police demanding the return of his handgun and other evidence that was taken in the November 2017 incident. The emails also allegedly contained threatening statements.
The complaint says Schlesinger made several appearances over a period of several months at the police department and a home belonging to the sergeant’s parents to make citizen’s arrests of police, including the sergeant, whom he confronted in person at the Miracle Mile station. That meeting was recorded on a body-worn camera.
In an online complaint filed by Schlesinger, he allegedly described a scenario in which he would be surrounded by TPD employees with their weapons drawn, and that he’d have no choice but to “render harmless the threat/s. ... I don’t think anybody wants this turning into shootout at the OK Corral."
The agency says White was the first deputy U.S. marshal killed on duty in Tucson in 66 years.
“We are all extremely saddened by the tragic line-of-duty death of our brother, Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White, last night in Tucson, Arizona. He was shot and killed while performing his mission. It’s a dangerous job, but Chase was devoted to making his community and this nation safer. His sacrifice will not be forgotten,” said David J. Anderson, Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Marshals Service. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and our law enforcement community. The nation lost a hero last night.”
Gov. Doug Ducey on Friday ordered that flags at all state buildings be lowered to half-staff until Saturday, Dec. 1.
According to Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus, police took the suspect, identified as 26-year-old Ryan Schlesinger, into custody on Thursday night.
The incident took place around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, in a neighborhood at 15th and Jacinto, while they were serving a felony warrant for stalking an officer. The wounded marshal was taken to Banner University Medical Center, where he later died from his injuries.
On Friday morning, the scene still remained blocked off where the standoff took place. Neighbors going to work and school were shocked by the news of the tragedy.
Across the street from the scene is a popular park for children named Jacinto Park. One man said several kids, including his son, were playing in the park when the shooting happened.
Jesse Aranda was in the park with his sister, who was on Facebook live as the police situation was escalating, and hustled the kids out of the park.
The police told the kids to leave but he says about ten of them were huddled under a tree as the west end of the park about 150 feet from the house.
Then the shots rang out.
“It was like a war zone,” he said. "Shots rang out, bing, bing, bing, bing in rapid succession.
He said he saw a person go down.
“I didn’t know if it was the guy they were looking for,” he said. “But the way the U.S. Marshals took off and left the way they did, we kind of figured it was one of their guys.”
Salina Aranda was on Facebook live during the police operation pointing her phone at the house when the shots came in rapid succession.
Three of her children were in the park at the time but they quickly ran home across the street.
“What happened yesterday, it’s getting worse,” she said. “It’s getting scarier."
She’s lived in the neighborhood her whole life and says it’s a peaceful neighborhood with little crime or police activity. But she believes it can happen anywhere.
“To have the kids out here with the gunshots and stuff like that,” she said.
She wonders if the kids will want to come back.
“They were pretty shaken,” Aranda said.
Still, once the police investigation was over some 23 hours after it began, the children were back playing in the park.
“We’ve been talking about it,” she said. “They have lots of questions.”
One woman who lives next to the park says this type of activity is very uncommon for the area and she would not expect something like this to ever happen in her neighborhood.
Rosa Quintana-Robledo, who lives a few doors down when the situation unfolded says, “I’m sad for the family. I lost my husband, I lost my son within the last three years. And I feel so bad for the family.”
The FBI is investigating the shooting of a Deputy United States Marshal on November 29, 2018 near Oracle Road and Grant Road in Tucson, Arizona.
Ryan Schlesinger, 26, is in federal custody and facing federal charges for killing the Deputy U.S. Marshal.
The FBI is asking for the public’s assistance in obtaining more information that will aid in the investigation. Anyone with images, video, or other information that may be related to the November 29, 2018 shooting in Tucson, Arizona is asked to submit them to fbi.gov/tucsonshooting or call the FBI Phoenix Field Office at 623-466-1999.