First Responders

Farewell to Slain Red-Lipstick-Wearing, Wonder-Woman Constable

September 2, 2022Joshua Skovlund
Deborah Martinez-Garibay took a group photo on April 26, 2021, following the presentation PGA Pro, Susie Meyers, gave to them at the El Rio Golf Course in Tucson, Arizona. PGA HOPE Tucson chapter photo.

Deborah Martinez-Garibay took a group photo on April 26, 2021, following the presentation PGA Pro, Susie Meyers, gave to them at the El Rio Golf Course in Tucson, Arizona. PGA HOPE Tucson chapter photo.

Deborah Martinez-Garibay, the Arizona constable gunned down last week in Tucson, is being remembered as a badass, red-lipstick-wearing, wonder-woman US Army veteran who loved serving her country.

“You can't replace her energy. She was just special,” said Michael “Mike” Ramsey, a transition patient advocate in the US Department of Veterans Affairs  Southern Arizona Healthcare System who first met Martinez-Garibay six years ago at a Team Red, White, and Blue event.

Authorities said a Tucson apartment tenant, Gavin Lee Stansell, shot and killed Martinez-Garibay and complex manager Angela Fox-Heath on Aug. 25, when they tried to serve an eviction notice on him.

Detectives believe Stansell then killed his neighbor, Elijah Miranda, before turning the weapon on himself.

Deborah Martinez-Garibay

In 2017, Deborah Martinez-Garibay and Mike Ramsey visited a local radio station to promote the Professional Golfers' Association of America Helping Our Patriots Everywhere Tucson chapter. Photo courtesy of the Professional Golfers' Association of America Helping Our Patriots Everywhere Tucson chapter.

A US Army reservist, Martinez-Garibay served as a human intelligence collector from 2003 to 2019, including in a deployment to Afghanistan. She left the service as a staff sergeant.

Martinez‐Garibay, 43, was appointed the constable for Pima County’s Justice Precinct 8 on March 15, 2022. A Democrat, she won her primary on Aug. 2 and was slated to compete in the general runoff for the elected position.

Ramsey told Coffee or Die Magazine that Martinez-Garibay was a leader who “really makes an impact right away,” including in her work on Tucson’s Helping Our Patriots Everywhere, a charitable initiative launched by the Professional Golfers' Association of America.

“She made people want to come back,” Ramsey said.

Deborah Martinez-Garibay

In 2019, The Highlands at Dove Mountain members hosted the Professional Golfers' Association of America Helping Our Patriots Everywhere Tucson chapter for a tournament, raising more than $10,000 for the chapter. Photo courtesy of the Professional Golfers' Association of America Helping Our Patriots Everywhere Tucson chapter.

Selected as a program ambassador in 2021, Martinez-Garibay wooed local PGA pros to volunteer to instruct veteran groups. They hold two sessions a year, with about 20 veterans every session. Each session lasts six to eight weeks, and the group meets weekly.

If vets needed equipment, Martinez-Garibay canvassed Tucson businesses and golf organizations for donations, including golf club sets.

“She's one of those people that will get you to do stuff that you're, like, 'No way in hell I'm doing that.' Next thing you know, you're doing it and having fun doing it,” Ramsey said. “But that's just kind of the way she was.”

She was also never shy about voicing an opinion and sticking with it. Ramsey recalled the time a PGO pro urged her to use a 7-iron on a shot, but she insisted on her driver.

“She would not hesitate to laugh at herself as loud as she can,” Ramsey said. “She poked fun at you as well but always in a good way, never in a mean way. You know, talk smack about the different branches.”

Deborah Martinez-Garibay

On Aug. 21, 2022, the Professional Golfers' Association of America Helping Our Patriots Everywhere Tucson chapter held a session for several veterans at the at Ventana Canyon Club & Lodge, located in Tucson, Arizona. Photo courtesy of the Professional Golfers' Association of America Helping Our Patriots Everywhere Tucson chapter.

Martinez-Garibay was born Sept. 2, 1978, in Tucson, to Joe and Margaret Martinez.

She is survived by her parents; husband, Gabriel Garibay; daughter, Ryane Michelle; and sisters, Connie Hall, Michelle LaVetter, and Joanna Caballero.

She was preceded in death by her beloved daughter, Danielle Joanna, the child she called “Dani Jo.”

A funeral Mass was held for Martinez-Garibay at Tucson’s St. Augustine Cathedral on Thursday, Sept. 1.

“She was a fun person to be around,” Ramsey said. "Everybody around her was included. You know, nobody was ever left out. If she liked you, you were family."

Read Next: When a Cleveland Police Sergeant Went Down, This Mom Stepped Up

Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis that followed the death of George Floyd. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he earned his CrossFit Level 1 certificate and worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. he went on to work in paramedicine for more than five years, much of that time in the North Minneapolis area, before transitioning to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion, where he publishes poetry focused on his life experiences.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Military
‘Butter Butter Jam!’: Troops Loved, and Hated, the M249 SAW

For nearly 50 years, the SAW has played a major role in America’s wars. Now it’s being replaced by new weapons.

February 8, 2023Mac Caltrider
Coffee Or Die Photo
Military
Space Force Vows ‘Above and Beyond’ Cleanup of Maui Spill

Brig. Gen. Anthony Mastalir, the commander of the U.S. Space Forces Indo-Pacific, said a team will t...

February 8, 2023Associated Press
Coffee Or Die Photo
Military
Navy Releases First Photos of Chinese Balloon Recovery

In the newest images released by the Navy on Tuesday, sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks at the Pentagon in Washington, Nov. 16, 2022. Lawyers for a group of Navy SEALS and other Navy personnel who oppose a COVID-19 vaccination requirement on religious grounds want a federal appeals court to keep alive their legal fight against the Biden administration. Congress voted to end the requirement in December 2022, but vaccine opponents note that commanders can still make decisions on how and whether to deploy unvaccinated troops, under a memo signed last month by Austin. AP photo by Susan Walsh, File.
Military
Vaccine Litigation Lingers After Lifting of Military Mandate

Lawyers for a group of Navy SEALS and other Navy personnel who refuse to be vaccinated for religious...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Armed Forces Service Medal
Military
Who Earns the Armed Forces Service Medal?

The Department of Defense honors heroism in combat in many ways, but there is also an award — the Ar...

February 7, 2023Noelle Wiehe
Soldiers carry the coffin of Eduard Strauss, a Ukrainian serviceman who died in combat on Jan. 17 in Bakhmut, during a farewell ceremony in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. AP photo by Daniel Cole.
Intel
Russian Forces Keep Up Pressue As Ukraine Anniversary Nears

Russian forces are keeping Ukrainian troops tied down with attacks in the eastern Donbas region as M...

February 7, 2023Associated Press
Chinese spy balloon
Military
Blown to Bits! Chinese Spy Balloon Blasted, Plummets Into Sea

The US Air Force downed the Chinese balloon that's been soaring over the US.

February 4, 2023Carl Prine
germany, european union, ukraine gas reserves
Intel
Ukraine Wants To Store Europe’s Strategic Gas Reserves

Ukraine maintains 12 underground gas storage facilities with a total capacity of about 31 billion cu...

February 3, 2023Nolan Peterson
  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved