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Neighbor says she tried to stop alleged gunman

“I just thought to stop him...to stop the madness”
Posted at 7:45 PM, Jul 19, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A woman who lives near the house that was burned Sunday says she tried to talk the suspect out of shooting people at the scene.

Ladene Jones says the house on Irene Vista was already on fire when she saw her neighbor who she says lived in that house with a girlfriend, trying to shoot anyone working to fight the fire or rescue anyone inside.

Tucson Police confirm her identification of the man as 35-year-old Leslie Scarlett.

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“He came around the front of the fire truck, and he was stalking a person who he had already shot but only wounded, who ran away from him. He was stalking that person and I stopped him and spoke with him and asked him not to do that because the people were only there trying to help you. And did he say anything in response he didn't say anything. I saw the look in his eyes and it was cognitive for a moment, and then he went back to where he was stalking people.”

She says firefighters took shelter in her house to get away from the gunman but she felt she’d known him so long she was like an aunt or a mother to him so she went out to try to reason with him.

She says, “God takes care of fools and babies. That’s how the saying goes. That’s what I thought. In hindsight, at first I just thought to stop him, you know, to stop the madness. I thought he was mistaken and maybe thought that somebody else had started the fire, that the people around and started, I didn't know what to think.”

But Ladene Jones says she was not able to break through to the man and stop the killing. Police say he stopped after he rammed an officer’s car and the officer shot and wounded him in the gunfight that followed.