Army veteran among 4 killed in Arizona eviction shooting

FAN Editor

TUCSON, Ariz. — A local constable, who was also a U.S. Army veteran, was among four people fatally shot at an apartment complex while serving an eviction notice in Tucson, Arizona, officials said.

The shooting happened just after 11 a.m. on Thursday at the Lind Commons Apartments, Tucson police said.

Few details have been released, but Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey identified Pima County Constable Deborah Martinez-Garibay as one of the victims in an order to fly flags at half-mast in all state buildings Friday.

“The loss of Constable Deborah Martinez is felt across our state,” Ducey said in a news release. “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.”

Martinez-Garibay became a constable for Justice Precinct 8 earlier this year, Ducey said. She was a Tucson native “who will be remembered for the way she treated others with dignity and respect,”” the governor said.

She enlisted in the U.S. Army after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and served for 16 years. After leaving the military, she volunteered at local nonprofits dedicated to veterans and their families, the governor’s news release said.

Local news outlets reported that an employee of the apartment complex was also killed in the shooting. There was no word early Friday on the identities of the other two victims.

Residents at the apartment complex were evacuated but later let back into their homes, news outlets reported.

Pima County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bronson extended sympathies on behalf of of the county to Martinez-Garibay’s family, friends and colleagues.

“I am heartbroken at this terrible tragedy and I will keep Constable Martinez and all who knew and loved her in my thoughts,” she said in a statement.

Serving eviction notices can be dangerous. On Monday, an Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office deputy was fatally shot and a second deputy was wounded while they attempted to serve eviction papers at a home near Oklahoma City, officials said.

Sheriff Tommie Johnson said the two deputies were serving “lock-out papers,” which is part of the eviction process, when one of the deputies went to the back door of the home and was shot. The second deputy was shot as he attempted to pull the first deputy to safety, Johnson said. A suspect in the Oklahoma shooting was taken into custody after leading law enforcement on a chase, officials said.

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