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Man dumped on South Side city’s record 71st homicide victim

Tucson police detectives and officers investigate a homicide Thursday in the 700 block of East 35th Street.

Tucson police detectives and officers investigate a homicide Thursday in the 700 block of East 35th Street.

Tucson police detectives are investigating the 71st homicide of the year, an “all-time high” for killings in Tucson, said police Lt. Rick Middleton.

He said a 25- to 35-year-old Hispanic man bleeding profusely and screaming for help was dropped off about 12:30 p.m. Thursday in the 700 block of East 35th Street, west of South Euclid Avenue.

Police said they have not determined whether the man was beaten, shot or both.

The man was not injured in the neighborhood, Middleton said, and it’s unknown why he was dumped there.

There was no indication the victim had any connection to the neighborhood. “It doesn’t appear he knew anybody here,” Middleton said.

The man, bleeding profusely from one side of his body, was screaming and pleading for help in English in front of a house. A resident inside called 911.

The man was taken to University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 1:31 p.m., Middleton said.

Leo Jacobos, who has lived on that block of East 35th Street for five years, said he saw the ambulance come to collect the victim.

“It’s a great street but things happen,” Jacobos said. “There are a lot of families here,” but not everyone knows everyone.

“People who come from someplace else make it look bad,” he said.

Augustin Burrel, 87, has lived at the corner of 35th Street and Euclid for more than 45 years, he said.

The retired construction worker and World War II Army veteran said “the neighborhood changed” over the years.

“We don’t even know the people who live there,” he said, pointing to the homes just west of his, where the city’s latest homicide victim struggled in his final hour.

Gabriel Leon, 67, and his wife, Francisca, 64, have lived on the street for 20 years.

They put bars on their windows to protect themselves.

The couple learned about the homicide when they saw police cars and TV trucks in front of their home and came outside to see detectives beginning to canvass the area.

They said they hear shots fired in the area every week or two from vehicles that drive in and out of the neighborhood after dark.

Middleton said police are developing strategies and tactics to try to curb the record number of homicides.

“So many are the result of a choice of lifestyle: gangs, drugs and illegal activities,” he said.

Anyone with information about Thursday’s homicide is urged to call 911 or 88-CRIME.

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