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Children found alive after suspect opens fire on 1st responders at separate incidents

ABC News logo ABC News 7/20/2021
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Several children initially missing following a deadly fire and shooting spree that targeted multiple first responders in Tucson, Arizona, have been found alive, police said on Monday.

Tucson Police Department Sgt. Richard Gradillas told ABC News that the two or three children who resided at a home where a badly burned body was discovered in the blaze were found on Monday, but released no further details.

Gradillas said police were still conducting an investigation to determine that the children were not harmed.

A 35-year-old man, identified by police Monday night as Leslie Scarlett, allegedly launched a shooting spree across three different crime scenes that left at least two people dead and four wounded.

Scarlett, who has a long criminal history and previously served six years in prison for armed robbery, was critically wounded in a shootout with a police officer after he allegedly rammed an officer's squad car with his SUV, officials said.

© Jose Luis Magana/AP

The incident began with the alleged suspect targeting two EMTs who were responding to a medical emergency at a park around 3:45 p.m. local time, Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said at a news conference on Sunday.

Magnus said Scarlett got out of his silver SUV, approached the ambulance and opened fire, striking the driver in the head and the passenger in the arm and chest.

The 20-year-old EMT driver remained in "extremely critical condition" on Monday, while the EMT in the passenger seat, a 21-year-old woman, is listed in stable condition.

Scarlett fled the scene and allegedly drove up to the house where firefighters were dispatched to a fire in the 2100 block of Irene Vista.

That's when he "arrives on the scene and starts firing at both the fire department personnel and the neighbors," Magnus said.

Without warning, Scarlett began shooting, hitting a fire department captain in the arm and fatally striking a 44-year-old neighbor who was helping to put out the fire in the head, police said. The deceased man was identified by police Monday night as Corey Saunders. Authorities said he was shot to death in front of his 11-year-old son. A second neighbor was grazed in the head by a bullet.

a blurry image of a truck: Yellow crime tape blocks off an area near a mall parking area where two Baltimore city police officers were shot and a suspect was killed as a U.S. Marshals’ task force served a warrant, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, in Baltimore, Md. © Jose Luis Magana/AP Yellow crime tape blocks off an area near a mall parking area where two Baltimore city police officers were shot and a suspect was killed as a U.S. Marshals’ task force served a warrant, Tuesday, July 13, 2021, in Baltimore, Md.

At this point, firefighters called the police to say they were being shot at.

The fire captain and neighbor wounded in the incident were both in good condition on Monday.

An officer responding at the scene of the fire and shooting spotted Scarlett's vehicle in the area, officials said.

Scarlett's SUV rammed the officer's car, disabling it, Magnus said. The officer then exited the vehicle and exchanged gunfire with Scarlett, striking him.

Magnus said making the incident more complex is the fact a dead body was found inside the burning residence. The fire victim was burned beyond recognition and police have not released the person's identity. Police said it's unclear if the person's death is directly related to the suspect.

This is a "highly tragic, really horrific incident with many unknowns," Magnus said Sunday night. The investigation, he said, will be "lengthy and complex."

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero posted a message on Twitter asking residents to pray for the full recovery of the wounded first responders.

"This was a horrific and senseless act of violence," Romero said.

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