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Pima County Attorney’s Office provides updates to July 18 mass shooting

News conference highlights suspect’s mental health, gun violence
Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 7:15 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Pima County Attorney’s office announced during a news conference on Tuesday, Aug. 3, TPD officer Danny Leon was justified when he shot a gunman, Leslie Scarlett, during a mass shooting on July 18. Scarlett died three days later in the hospital.

“Officer Leon’s actions were not only justified, but they also ended a chaotic and dangerous scene, a situation where more lives would have been lost that day,” Dan South, PCAO chief criminal deputy, says.

How Scarlett, a former convict, obtained a gun in the first place is still in question. In an investigation, the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives found a private party gun transaction where the firearm was bought by a different individual.

South says, “We don’t know who that person is. We don’t know how the gun got to that person to Mr. Scarlett and therein lies one of the problems ... that we don’t know where guns are in our community.”

Scarlett is accused of shooting and killing EMT Jacob Dindinger and neighbor Cory Saunders at two different scenes. The investigation into what role - if any - Scarlett played in the death of Jennifer Fells, whose body was found in a burning home, is still ongoing.

Investigators are also looking into Scarlett’s mental health and what led up to the incident.

Pima County Attorney Laura Conover addressed the importance of mental health and the community’s role in preventing events like the July 18 shooting from happening in the future.

Conover says, ″What we need desperately from the community is the prevention work. We can’t solve this on the back end. I’m calling on the community – on mothers, sisters, and cousins, and uncles, las primas, los novias, las abuelas to have those difficult conversations and intervene.”

Conover suggested getting more gun locks out into the community. The county attorney’s office provides them free of charge. You can pick one up by making an appointment with the county attorney’s office.

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