TPD chief disappointed by release of shooting suspect

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 10:27 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus is “beyond frustrated” after a suspect accused of shooting at a police officer was released from city jail without bond.

“I think the situation is pretty outrageous,” said Magnus. “The judge in this case refers to him as ‘felony stupid’ and says without any evidence at all that ‘I bet he has a drug problem’ but because he has no record she’s going to release him without bond.”

According to court documents, prosecutors requested that judge Rosemary Panuko require Zachary Lee to have a high bond. but, she chose not to fulfill the request.

Instead, she signed off on nine terms release that require Lee to not drink, not do illegal drugs, turn in all guns he may have, complete drug treatment or monitoring program among others.

“There are standards for pre-trial release that speak to the danger a suspect presents to the community,” said Magnus. “If a judge looks at this case and says this person isn’t a danger to the community and bases it on the notion that because they don’t have a criminal record.”

“Its hard for me to imagine that somebody who starts shooting at a person in a car at 2:30 in the afternoon isn’t a danger I just don’t get it,” said Magnus.

Chief Magnus says the decision is even more frightening considering the recent rise in violent crimes.

“My biggest fear is that he commits a similar assault while he is out in the community right now,” said Magnus.

Numerous calls and emails sent to Panuko went unreturned on Wednesday, Aug. 25. An attempt to reach Lee’s attorney was also unsuccessful.

The Pima County Attorney and Pima County Superior Court cannot comment on ongoing cases.

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