Corrections officer charged in fatal shooting of mother


by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Jason Volentine

Posted on September 4, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 8 at 3:35 PM

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FLORENCE, Ariz. -- A corrections officer turned himself in to Florence police Thursday morning, saying he had shot someone.

A sergeant saw a person who appeared suspicious walking through the Florence Police Department's back parking lot at approximately 10 a.m., according to a police spokeswoman.

When the sergeant went out to talk to the man, he reportedly said, "I need help and you need to arrest me." Upon further questioning, the man stated, "I just shot someone."

The suspect was identified as Alexander A. Santiago, 41, of Florence. He is a corrections officer with the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Santiago faces charges of first-degree murder, second degree-murder and aggravated assault with special circumstances. He is being held without bond.

Officers responded to a home near Eighth Street and Highway 79 and found a dead woman in the kitchen. Police said she had a single gunshot wound to the head.

The victim has been identified as Santiago's mother, Sean M. Lafitte, 61. Police said they shared the home.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.

A motive for the homicide has not been determined.

Police are still investigating whether a weapon issued by the Department of Corrections was used in the shooting.

"There were numerous weapons inside the residence, so we're going to have to determine which weapon was actually used or if it's still in the residence," said Florence Police Chief Dan Hughes.

Hughes said Santiago may have done some cleanup at the scene.

"It appears that he put napkins beneath her head and also had folded her arms," he said.