Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags at half-staff Aug. 26 in honor of Deborah Martinez-Garibay, a Pima County constable who was shot to death Aug. 25 while serving an eviction notice at a midtown apartment complex.
“The loss of Constable Deborah Martinez is felt across our state,” Ducey said in a statement. “Whether it was serving in the U.S. Army or carrying out her duties as a constable for Pima County, she dedicated her life to helping others and her community.”
A graduate of Pueblo High School, Martinez joined the U.S. Army after the Sept. 11 attacks. She served for nearly 20 years and was wounded in Afghanistan before retiring as a senior noncommissioned officer.
Following retirement, Martinez worked with veterans and their families, and started a local chapter of the national organization, PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere). The program introduces veterans with disabilities to golf.
Pima County Board of Supervisors chair Sharon Bronson acknowledged the danger of a constable’s job.
“Arizona constables perform difficult, often dangerous work,” Bronson said in a statement. “Our county constables perform a difficult and important job for the people of this county. They often encounter people at their most vulnerable and emotional, yet they all perform their duties with professionalism and compassion. I am heartbroken at this terrible tragedy, and I will keep Constable Martinez and all who knew and loved her in my thoughts.”
Bishop Edward Weisenberger asked for members of the Diocese of Tucson to remember in prayer all those involved in the shooting.
“I ask the faithful of our diocese to lift up in prayer Constable Martinez along with her family, friends, coworkers and all those who loved her,” he said. “I ask for prayer also for the other victims who died at the scene. Their families and loved ones now enter into a time of profound grief. May they all know the fullness of life.”
Martinez had only been on the job since March.
The gunman has been identified as Gavin Lee Stansell. The other victims have been identified as Lind Commons Apartment manager, Angela Fox-Heath, and resident, Elijah Miranda. Sources say police believe Stansell died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.