The man involved in "fire bombing" multiple homes and killing a woman on Tucson's north side two weeks ago died on March 24, police say.

Donald Shoemaker, 54, had been on life support since the March 14 incident in the 1400 block of East Duke Street, near Roger Road.

Tucson police detectives determined Shoemaker "fire bombed" three neighboring homes and shot 65-year-old Deborah Barnette. He then returned to his home where he shot himself, police said. Authorities found him shortly after 5:30 p.m.

Barnette died a day later, police said.

Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Initial reports to the department said an armed man had been chasing after a neighbor.

Detectives later learned that Shoemaker allegedly had prior incidents with neighbors in which he threatened them.

During a search of Shoemaker's home, detectives found incendiary devices and gasoline canisters. Military ordnances were also safely removed from the property, police said.

Contact Star reporter Shaq Davis at 573-4218 or

On Twitter: @ShaqDavis1


Shaq is a public safety reporter and the Road Runner columnist, keeping readers up to date on transportation news. In 2017, he started as an apprentice and later worked part-time until graduating from the UA and being offered a full-time position in 2018.