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Family of Tucson mass shooting victim files $50M claim against Pima County

The family of the woman who died in the shooting during the eviction of the Tucson apartment complex she managed has filed a $50 million claim against Pima County, stating that the constable who conducted the eviction was ineligible, The county said it failed to hire and retain her. on the job.

Angela Heath Fox, 28, evicts Gavin Lee Stansel, 24, from his residence at Lynd Commons, an apartment complex near East Fort Lowell Road and North Dodge Boulevard on August 25, when Stansel was shot. I accompanied the patrol. He shot and killed Heath Fox, constable Deborah Martinez Garibay, and his bystander Elijah Miranda, 25, before turning the gun on himself.

Last month, attorneys representing the Heath Fox family amended their original claims filed against the county, citing new information in the case. , Pima County Board of Supervisors, Pima County Police Department, Pima County Attorney’s Office, Arizona Police Officer Ethics, Standards and Training Commission. A claim is a precursor to litigation.

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Pima County not only failed to hire Martinez-Garibay, but failed to remove her from the position after learning of ethical concerns and failed to properly train her. The Supervisor’s appointment of Martinez Garibay to fill a vacancy in the Judicial District was a mistake.

Dating back to October 2001, the billing notice said Martinez-Garibay had more than 20 contacts with the police. Although these contacts include issues in which she was the petitioner, the allegation is that the number of interactions “demonstrates the judgment and temperament that are prerequisites for being appointed to such an important position.” We then detail the various altercations involving Martinez-Garibay.

“This is not a situation in which the community has elected an ineligible representative and must collectively address that selection,” the alleging notice reads. “Rather, like any position posted by the county, Martinez Garibay applied for the job and was selected by the county over other candidates. and failed to properly train her, and subsequently retained her when concerns were raised about her ability to perform her duties, exposing the public to undue risk. I did.”

Before the fatal shooting, Martinez Garibay faced charges of falsifying a petition signature to get the vote, the Arizona Daily Star previously reported. It was also alleged that he did not live in the constituency in which he was running for election.

Tucson’s Lynd Commons apartment where Pima County Constables Deborah Martinez Garibay, Angela Heath Fox, and Elijah Miranda were shot dead on August 25, 2022.

Kelly Presnell, Arizona Daily Star

The notice of claim cites these allegations and says the county had this information but took no action and continued to allow her to perform her duties without restriction. The Arizona Constable’s Ethics, Standards, and Training Commission, which is tasked with investigating unethical conduct, said it did nothing because it “failed to do its statutory duty” or because the county did not refer the matter to them. rice field.

Furthermore, the allegations state that Martinez Garibay was already in trouble during her brief stint as a constable. It says.

Months before the shooting, Martinez-Garibay and another constable were reprimanded by Tucson police for conducting a dangerous eviction, the allegation notice said. Officers at the scene had a candid conversation with the two officers and expressed concerns about their equipment and tactics. I have expressed my serious concern that this may not be the case,” he said.

In July Martinez-Garibay was involved in another eviction involving a physical altercation. The person then filed a mutual complaint about Martinez Garibay, claiming she was the attacker and that she used excessive force, according to her allegation notice.

Two months later, another eviction she was serving became physical.

Complaints indicate that she was “unable to safely defuse a tense and precarious situation.”

On the day of the shooting, the billing notice states that Martinez-Galibay apparently made no effort to seek police assistance, even though Stansel was known to have threatened another resident with a firearm. She also did not have the gun found in her car after the shooting.

At the time of the shooting, Martinez-Garibay had not undergone the mandatory training constables must attend within six months of being elected, the allegations said.

“She put innocent individuals squarely in harm’s way by putting herself in a known dangerous situation with no means of protecting herself or others,” the allegation states. Under these circumstances, it is inconceivable that Ms. Martinez Garibay would not retrieve the keys from Ms. Fox and keep her out of harm’s way while she cleans up her apartment. Of course she didn’t. She took Ms. Fox right outside Mr. Stansel’s apartment while trying to influence her eviction.

Martinez-Garibay’s toxicology report also showed he had illicit drugs in his body at the time of autopsy, including amphetamines, methamphetamines, cocaine and alcohol, the allegations say.

“The county was notified of the ongoing ethics and fraud issues related to Ms. Martinez Garibay and again did nothing,” the alleging notice said. This was a 20-year failure and all the information needed to prevent such a tragedy is readily available to the county. bottom.”

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