Flags across Arizona are flying at half-staff in honor of U.S. Marshal Chase White, who was shot and killed while serving a warrant on Thursday night in Tucson. White, 41, a three-year veteran of the U.S. Marshal Service, is the first federal marshal to be killed in the line of duty in Tucson in 66 years.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said that the entire state mourns the loss.
“In honor of Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White’s life and service, I’ve ordered flags at all state buildings be lowered to half-staff effective immediately,” Ducey said in a statement. “Deputy White’s ultimate sacrifice reminds us of the dangers that law enforcement officers and first responders face every single day — we’re eternally thankful for his courage and dedication and thankful to every hero who serves. Rest in peace, Chase White, Arizona’s prayers are with your family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time.”
White was part of a fugitive task force, and was shot as he approached the home of 26-year-old Ryan Schlesinger at around 7:30 p.m. to serve him with a mental-health evaluation petition. The marshals had received numerous complaints against Schlesinger, who was restricted from owning firearms and allegedly made threats against Tucson police officers after they confiscated one of this handguns, according to Tucson.com.
Schlesinger barricaded himself inside the home, and White was hit multiple times. The marshals opened fire on the home, and Schlesinger surrendered and was taken into custody. White died later that evening at Banner-University Medical Center. Schlesinger was charged with killing a federal officer, and could face the death penalty or life in prison.
“The District of Arizona lost one of its finest last night. Deputy Chase White was an outstanding professional, a man who was dedicated to eradicating crime from the streets of Tucson,” said United States Marshal David Gonzales, District of Arizona. “Please keep his family, and his brothers and sisters in the law enforcement community, in your thoughts as we deal with this tragedy. Losing one of our own is the most difficult situation we face.”
White, a native of central Illinois, served in the U.S. Air Force for seven years, was a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve and is survived by his wife and four children.