Southern Arizona | Investigating 4 You

N4T Investigators: Suspect’s background

TUCSON –  Police Chief Chris Magnus tweeted today that the man accused of killing a Deputy U.S. Marshall was “a ticking time bomb.”  The News 4 Tucson Investigators have learned that the suspect had behavioral problems long before yesterday’s shooting.

Court records show that the man who allegedly killed Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White was suspended from Pima Community College’s downtown campus in August, 2017, due to unspecified “behaviorial issues.” The News 4 Tucson Investigators have learned that PCC’s Code of Conduct officer was granted an Order of Protection for Harrassment against 26-year-old Ryan Philip Schlesinger. The order was issued the day after Schlesinger was suspended.

The President of PCC’s downtown campus, Dr. David Dore, told the News 4 Tucson Investigators, “We immediately worked with Tucson Police because this student was, we felt, a potential threat. And therefore notified authorities immediately and quickly notified all of the campus community through timely warnings as well.”

Records show Schlesinger was also prohibited from going near the school that the college’s Code of Conduct Officer’s children attended. And, he was prohibited from possessing firearms. He spent some time at the county’s Crisis Response Center, but it’s unclear if he had been admitted for issues related to mental health.

PCC adult school student Summer Leon wonders if the system failed to catch warning signs. “You’ve got to be really concerned about how they’re handling the mental health part of it,” Leon said. “Are they referring them somewhere? Are they trying to get them help? Or are they just kicking them out of the school?”

However, Schlesinger apparently did not have a long criminal record or history of violence, though in addition to his issues at PCC,  court records show he had made threats against members of Tucson Police Department’s mental health unit.

Dr. Dore of PCC, said, “Our thoughts are with this U.S. Marshal and really such a tragic situation and we are at least consoled that this person is in police custody now.”

Schlesinger was due in court next Wednesday for a case involving his alleged harassment of the family of a member of TPD’s mental health unit.

Matthew Schwartz

Matthew Schwartz

Matthew Schwartz has been an investigative reporter since 1993. He specializes in reporting on corruption, fraud and scams.
Scroll to top
Skip to content