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San Tan Valley man faces attempted murder charge

Posted at 11:35 AM, Sep 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-06 14:35:14-04

Pinal County Sheriff's deputies arrested an 18-year-old San Tan Valley man on suspicion of attempted murder Tuesday.

Deputies say Luther Cruz tried to burn down a house on East Coral Bean Drive with three adult family members inside. Family members stopped him from blowing up a propane tank.

Cruz was booked into Pinal County Jail on charges of attempted murder, arson of an occupied structure, aggravated assault and felony endangerment.

"Our 9-1-1 communications center received the emergency call at 7:25 p.m. from the suspect’s sister, who told us that her brother was trying to light a propane tank on fire inside their house," Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in a statement. "The operator could hear a violent struggle in the background, which we later learned were the family members desperately trying to restrain Luther from lighting the tank on fire."

Witnesses said Cruz said he hoped he would die in the fire and didn't care about the safety of others in the home.