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Shooting in southside strip mall

Business owner says crime increasing
Posted at 7:57 PM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 22:57:00-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Tucson Police are investigating a shooting that happened Monday in a busy strip mall at 12th and Ajo. A business owner there says the incident is part of rising crime there.

Just imagine this. On the way home, maybe you go to a little shopping center to try to get some errands done and you end up seeing a shooting in the parking lot. Two people end up under arrest—another–in the hospital.

“We need help. You don't believe it's come on down and take a look man, I mean, see for yourself.”

A stray bullet went through the glass at Tony Martinez Barber shop. Others hit the coin-op laundry next door.

Martinez has been cutting hair at that location for 19 years. He says rising drug use is pushing up crime, dragging down the neighborhood, and amping up the danger.

He says a month ago a stranger showed up in the shop and started yelling at him.

“He started walking towards me and next, he started swinging at me. I had to duck and throw a couple punches. I threw him against the floor and he jumped up like a rabbit and took off running. I never saw this guy before. He came back. I had three customers here and he had a big ol’ stick that he was trying to break the door with. Then I just looked at him and told him ‘Hey, look, I'm gonna call the cops.’”

Martinez says a business coalition asked police and city council members for help but the drug use and crime are still growing.

In this latest incident police did get two suspects off the street.

The day after the shooting, police arrested one suspect near I-10 and 6th Avenue.

He’s 17 year old Arturo Hernandez.

Later that day they arrested 17 year old George Fuentes.

Both are charged with Attempted 1st Degree Murder and two counts of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

They’re in jail on a million dollars bond apiece.

Police say they’re looking for more witnesses to the shooting. They hope if you saw something you’ll call 88-Crime or 911.