A deputy U.S. marshal serving a felony arrest warrant was shot and killed Thursday evening outside a house on the city’s north side, Tucson police Chief Chris Magnus said.
The man suspected of shooting the marshal was arrested after a standoff at the house.
Magnus said the Marshals Service was serving an active felony arrest warrant against a man at the house when the suspect fired at them. Marshal Service personnel returned fire, but the suspect was not wounded.
Magnus said the warrant was issued by Tucson police and was being served on Ryan Schlesinger, 26, on charges of stalking a law enforcement officer. Magnus would not release details about the warrant against Schlesinger.
The federal agent was the first deputy U.S. marshal to be killed in the line of duty in Tucson in 66 years, according to online records kept by the Marshals Service.
The shooting happened around 5:30 p.m. in the 2600 block of North 15th Avenue, near West Jacinto Street. The house where the shooter fired from is just across the street from Jacinto Park, and northwest of North Oracle Road and West Grant roads.
Moments after the shooting, Tucson police and federal officers surrounded the single-story house. Several residences around the house and the park were evacuated by officers.
After about an hour standoff, Tucson police reported they had a man from inside the house in custody.
The wounded deputy marshal was taken to Banner-University Medical Center where he died. His name was not released.
“This is a tragic night for law enforcement in Tucson and across the state of Arizona,” Magnus told reporters late Thursday. “This is very tough.”
Gov. Doug Ducey tweeted shortly after 8 p.m. that he had been informed the deputy U.S. marshal was killed in the line of duty.
“I’ve just learned that tonight we lost a US Deputy Marshal from the District of Arizona. He was killed in the line of duty in Tucson. My deepest condolences and prayers go out to his family and all of Arizona law enforcement,” Ducey tweeted.
Online court records show Schlesinger has a court date scheduled for Dec. 5 on charges of harassment by communication.
The last deputy U.S. marshal to die in the line of duty in Tucson was Edmund L. Schweppe, who was fatally shot while escorting two prisoners to a dentist office in the downtown area on Sept. 15, 1952, according to the Marshals Service website.
The two prisoners were apprehended by police after they escaped. They were both convicted of Schweppe’s murder and sentenced to life in prison, according to the Marshals Service.
I’ve just learned that tonight we lost a US Deputy Marshal from the District of Arizona. He was killed in the line of duty in Tucson. My deepest condolences and prayers go out to his family and all of Arizona law enforcement.
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) November 30, 2018