Tucson, AZ – Deputy United States Marshal Chase White was murdered in the line of duty on Nov. 29, as he was serving a warrant on a suspect for charges of stalking a law enforcement officer.
“This is a tragic night for law enforcement in Tucson and… across the state of Arizona,” Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said during a press conference. “Tonight, a U.S. Marshal was shot and killed while serving a Tucson Police Department active felony warrant.”
The fatal altercation occurred at a residence in the 2600-block of North 15th Avenue at approximately 5:30 p.m.
As several marshals attempted to arrest 26-year-old Ryan Schlesinger on the felony warrant, he opened fire, hitting Marshal White, Chief Magnus said.
The federal agents immediately returned fire, but Schlesinger was not struck.
The gunman then barricaded himself inside the single-story residence.
Marshal White, 41, was rushed to Banner-University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Tucson police surrounded Schlesinger’s residence immediately after the shooting, and evacuated residents from nearby homes.
Schlesinger surrendered to police without further incident following an hour-long standoff, and has been charged with first-degree murder of a federal officer, the Charlotte Observer reported.
“I am presenting this information with a very heavy heart,” Chief Magnus said of Marshal White’s murder. “This is a great tragedy, and our hearts go out to this marshal’s family.”
“As you can imagine, they’re devastated,” the chief said of the marshals who were with the fallen hero when the shooting occurred. “I’m sure they’re having a very tough time, as any group of law enforcement officers would.”
U.S. Marshall David Gonzales, who oversees the District of Arizona, described Marshal White as an “outstanding professional” who was “dedicated to eradicating crime from the streets of Tucson,” the Journal Star reported.
“Losing one of our own is the most difficult situation we face,” Marshall Gonzales said. “Please keep his family, and his brothers and sisters in the law enforcement community, in your thoughts as we deal with this tragedy.”
Marshal White, a three-year veteran of the U.S. Marshals Service, served in the U.S. Air Force from 2000 until 2007, the Journal Star reported.
He was also a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and was preparing for a three-year deployment at the time of his murder.
Marshal White previously served as an investigator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
“The nation lost a hero last night,” U.S. Marshals Service Acting Deputy Director David Anderson said, according to the Arizona Daily Star. “We are all extremely saddened by the tragic line-of-duty death of our brother, Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White.”
“He was shot and killed while performing his mission,” Director Anderson continued. “It’s a dangerous job, but Chase was devoted to making his community and this nation safer. His sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
In addition to his wife, Marshal White leaves behind his four children, all of whom are between the ages of 7 and fourteen, the Journal Star reported.
He will be laid to rest on Friday, according to The Arizona Republic.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Deputy United States Marshal Chase White, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Deputy Marshall Chase White, your life mattered.