The Main Stream

Dec 21, 2012 8:10 PM by Lupita Murillo

Murder suspect kills himself

TUCSON - A murder-suicide leaves a Tucson family devastated this holiday season.

Tucson Police say 23-year-old Joseph Leroy Francis shot and killed Ashley Hicks Thursday night, then showed up at her parents' home telling them what he had done.

Police say Hicks did everything she could to keep her former boyfriend out of her life. She took out a restraining order against him five months ago but it couldn't keep him from killing her.

"Unfortunately in some of these cases when someone is out to get you they're unpredictable." Tucson Police Sgt. Chris Widmer said.

Investigators say Ashley and Joseph Leroy Francis lived in the apartment complex on Pantano Road. She moved out and was living with her mother and was there last night visiting friends.

Apparently they had been at Winterhaven. Sgt. Widmer says Francis waited for her, and the friends saw he had a gun.

"They're trying to leave to get police as that happens the shots are fired the victim's hit," Widmer says.

Hicks was hit several times, and died later at a hospital. Police went to the suspect's house near Ruthrauff and La Cholla.

"As they arrived, they heard a gunshot and as they investigative they find the suspect with what appears to be a self inflicted gunshot wound," Widmer said.

Tucson Police say this is the second murder-suicide involving Domestic Violence this year. Last year they had three cases.

EMERGE, is an organization that helps victims of domestic violence. Anna Stevens Denae, the operations manager says, "When we're seeing somebody killed by domestic violence every three days in the state of Arizona It's clearly more than a family issue . It's a community issue that needs to be addressed sooner than later."

Emerge is there to help they have a 24-hour hotline as well as other services. For more information go


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