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Saturday killing related to drugs, officers say

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department on Monday elaborated on a slaying that reportedly involved a handcuffed man, a man shot to death and a wounded mother and son, all lying in the front yard of a South Side house Saturday afternoon.

Detective Sgt. Jesus Lopez said the shootout was over a lost drug load. Homicide detectives found marijuana for sale inside the house, in the 3400 block of East Mossman Road, he said.

The 24-year-old man wearing handcuffs, who was found in the yard, had been kidnapped from a house near Old Nogales Highway and East Summit Street, he said.

He was forced into a stolen van, Deputy Dawn Hanke said.

The van’s driver put handcuffs on the hostage and demanded that he tell him the address of the man who lived in the house on East Mossman, she said.

When they arrived at the house, the driver got out of the van with a gun, Hanke said.

The 50-year-old mother and her 29-year-old son, who lived in the house, went into the yard when they saw the van pull up, Hanke said. The son brought a handgun.

Hanke said the driver of the van shot first but was killed in the volley of gunfire.

Deputies have not disclosed the name of the dead man because his family has not yet been told of the death, she said.

Lopez said the case was being investigated as self-defense because the man who was killed shot first.

The kidnapper was declared dead at the scene, and the mother and son were transported to hospitals, Hanke said. The son’s gunshot injuries were life-threatening, but the mother’s were not, she said. The hostage was uninjured.

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