TUCSON, Ariz. — Today we are learning the shooter, 26-year-old Ryan Schlesinger, was under weapons restrictions after threatening Pima Community College employees. Deputy Chase White was the marshal who was killed serving a warrant for stalking, at Schelsinger's home, when Schlesinger opened fire. White was hit and taken to the hospital where he died.
It was said that because of Schlesinger's prior relationship with Tucson Police and his known disdain of the department, U.S. Marshals decided to help. Unfortunately that assistance led to tragedy.
"I tell you, one of the most dangerous things you can do in law enforcement is to arrest fugitives, dangerous fugitives that do not want to go back to jail or prison. And this individual obviously made up his mind that whoever came up to his house and tried to arrest him, he was not going to go without a fight," said David Gonzales, a U.S. Marshal with the District of Arizona.
"There was somebody in the street who wanted to hurt the police. We went in and during the arrest, one of ours died - a hero," said Timothy Hughes, Chief Deputy U.S. Marshall with the District of Arizona.
Deputy White is the 50th law enforcement officer and the 9th federal law enforcement officer to have been shot and killed in the line of duty just this year. He was the first marshal to be killed on the job in Tucson in 66 years.
"There have been 271 deputy U.S. Marshals killed in the line of duty. The first one in 1797, and the last one, so far, yesterday," said Gonzales.
Schlesinger is charged with willfully killing an officer of the United States, while the officer was engaged in official duties. If convicted, the attorney's office said, he will face either the death penalty or life in prison.
"It was a sad day in Tucson last night for all of us, when when of our brothers or sisters is killed in the line of duty for keeping their community safe," said Chad Kasmar, Tucson Police's Deputy Chief.
The FBI is asking for public assistance. If you have any information, the agency urges you visit fbi.gov/tucsonshooting, or call (623) 466-1999.