Deborah Martinez-Garibay honored for duty, remembered for determination

Determined, caring, a force of nature, dedicated to service—those were all words used to describe Deborah Martinez-Garibay in her funeral service Thursday morning.

Her casket arrived at St. Augustine Cathedral to an honor guard of local, state and Federal law enforcement.

She died in the line of duty almost precisely a week before—serving an apartment eviction. The man being evicted was waiting with a gun. He killed the constable, the apartment manager, a neighbor, and himself.

Bishop Edward Weisenburger thanked Constable Martinez-Garibay, and everyone in law enforcement willing to pin on a badge and walk into danger.

“You get up every morning and walk out into a world that might welcome your presence or want to do you harm but you do that so the rest of us can live in a safe, stable, civilized world,” Weisenburger said.

Richard Gastelum was Deborah Martinez-Garibay’s high school principal and a longtime family friend. He talked about her determination to serve in the Army after 9/11. After 17 years in uniform she created a golf program to help troubled veterans. And finally as a constable, she worked with people in trouble, like those facing eviction.

“She understood the awesome responsibility in carrying out her duties and wanting to treat people as people treating them with dignity and respect. Her mission sadly ended August 25, killed in the line of duty,” Gastelum said.

The constable’s old friend predicts the investigation of her murder will lead to changes in how constables do their duties, and that will keep Deborah Martinez-Garibay from having died in vain.

Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 30 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.

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