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TPD: Body found in southside house fire was shot; mass shooting suspect dies from injuries

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Jennifer A. Fells and Leslie Stephen Scarlett

TUCSON (KVOA) - The suspect of Sunday's mass shooting on Tucson's south side has died, police confirmed Thursday afternoon.

Earlier this week, Tucson Police Department said an American Medical Response ambulance was stationed at Quincie Douglas Center, located at 1575 E. 36th St. near South Kino Parkway, at around 3:45 p.m. Sunday in reference to an unrelated medical incident. While at the scene, an armed man, later identified as 35-year-old Leslie Scarlett, approached the ambulance at the park and opened fire, striking one EMT in the head and another in the arm and chest.

Scarlett then fled the park in his silver SUV to the scene of a nearby structure fire that was burning near 2100 E. Irene Vista, police say. The 35-year-old then reportedly began firing his weapon at TFD personnel and nearby bystanders.

TPD said a 17-year Tucson Fire captain was struck in the arm and a bystander who lives in the neighborhood was grazed by a bullet in connection to the shooting at the house fire.

One other neighbor, later identified as Cory Saunders, was shot in the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The suspect then fled the scene again, ramming a Tucson Police car that was responding to the incident. The officer in that car, Officer Danny Leon, an eight-year veteran of the Tucson Police Department, immediately got out of his vehicle and took cover," Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said during a press conference Monday. "The suspect then fired three rounds at the officer, who returned fire, striking the suspect."

According to police, Scarlett died at the hospital on Wednesday due to injuries sustained in the exchange of gunfire with Officer Leon despite TPD immediately rendering aid on the 35-year-old at the scene.

Police also identified the body found in Sunday's house fire in the 2100 block of E. Irene Vista as 36-year-old Jennifer A. Fells. They say she sustained gunshot trauma.

TPD initially shared that a woman who lived in the home is unaccounted for, but presumed dead. Her three children were initially unaccounted for after the shooting, but investigators with the child physical abuse unit later located the children safe at a family member's residence.

On Wednesday, Tucson Police Department Chief Chris Magnus said the 20-year-old EMT shot in the head, later identified as Jacob Dindinger, remains in "very critical condition."

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Julia Leon

Julia is a Digital Content Producer for KVOA- News 4 Tucson. In 2018, she earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in journalism from the University of Arizona.

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Anthony Victor Reyes

Anthony Victor Reyes is the lead digital content producer at News 4 Tucson. The award-winning journalist previously worked as a community reporter in Jasper County, Iowa.

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