44-year-old Cory Saunders, a white man, was murdered on Sunday in Tucson, Arizona, allegedly by a black man, 35-year-old Leslie Scarlett as Saunders attempted to help after seeing Scarlett’s house on fire.
At a news conference Monday afternoon, Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said that Scarlett has a criminal record and a history of “mental health issues,”
Mangus said that Saunders’ 11-year-old son witnessed his father’s murder.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero called Saunders a good Samaritan.
Saunders’ girlfriend, Melissa Snyder, told News 4 Tucson that “Cory didn’t even think twice and he ran out the door and I followed him to the truck.”
Snyder recounted what happened next: “And by then, him and the other neighbor were running. I watched the firetrucks come up and within seconds. I saw the homeowner’s SUV pull up behind the firetruck and he got out and started shooting.”
Unsure what to do next, Snyder said that she watched her neighbor that had ran with Saunders “run back into my other neighbor’s yard. And he was holding his head he had been shot.”
“I think I stood there for a moment, waiting for Cory,” Snyder continued. but he did not return home
Snyder added, “I don’t know how much time passed, but then, I watched them carry Cory over to our side of the yard.”
Two EMTs, one TFD fire captain and two residents were shot altogether at the scene.
Snyder said she had a few interactions with the suspect’s family and that Scarlett lived in the house that caught fire.
“You see our neighbors helping. I’m watching my boyfriend help bang on windows, I’m watching the firefighters get out of the new truck and the next thing I know, I see that SUV pull up. I remember thinking like omg he’s there, his family and I heard the gunshot,” Snyder explained.
Snyder says Saunders, the love of her life, was an amazing man and there is a GoFundMe set up for her family that can be donated to by clicking here.
Scarlett remains in extremely critical condition after being shot by a police officer in a gunfight and also reportedly shot two emergency medical technicians at a nearby park prior to the shooting at his house.
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