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Chowchilla woman murdered in Arizona

For The Madera Tribune

Kinsey Beebe and her mother Teresa Beebe on the day Kinsey graduated from Chowchilla High School.


A Chowchilla high school graduate was shot and killed Feb. 28 in Flagstaff, AZ following an altercation involving criminal street gang members, according to Flagstaff police.


Kinsey Beebe, 19, graduated from Chowchilla Union High School in 2016. She was active in sports, and had played volleyball throughout junior high and high school. She was well loved by her family and friends, and described as a student who “beautiful inside and out,” according to Sharon Twitty, founder and director of the Chowchilla Gold traveling volleyball group.


“I have very fond memories of Kinsey,” Twitty said. “Her teammates and coaches remember her as always laughing, easy to get along with and she had such a sweet spirit.”


Twitty also said she was very impressed with Beebe’s mother, who raised Beebe and her five siblings alone after Beebe’s father was killed in a car accident when she was a child.


“(Beebe’s mother, Teresa Beebe) was a very positive influence, especially as a single parent,” Twitty said. “We are incredibly saddened by his news, and our thoughts are with the family.”


Stephanie Molina, Wilson Middle School teacher and coach, said Beebe was good to her peers in physical education class, and would work and play with anyone. Molina added that Beebe was especially kind to those with special needs.


Kinsey was a wonderful young person to work with,” Molina said. “She was an excellent student and she loved playing volleyball.”


Molina added that Beebee’s gentle and caring spirit will be missed.


“Her smile could light up an entire room of people,” Molina said.


Chowchilla Chamber of Commerce director, Stacy Wisener, agreed.


“She had a contagious smile,” Wisener said. “Always happy, and she loved to have fun.”


Wisener’s daughter played volleyball with Beebe throughout high school.


Beebe was with friends when one man went outside and fired a weapon, according to an article in the Arizona Daily Sun. Beebe confronted the man, later identified as 22 year old Abraham Ortiz of Flagstaff, and when Ortiz and 20-year-old Adonis Velarde left for a short time, Beebe hid the gun, the Sun article stated.


When the two men returned and found out Beebe had hidden the weapon, Ortiz allegedly shot Beebe three times, striking her in the head and neck, according to the Sun. She died of her wounds later at a Flagstaff hospital.


Ortiz and Velarde fled the scene, the Sun article stated. Verlarde turned himself in at 2 a.m. Thursday, and faces multiple charges including first degree murder and assisting a criminal street gang, according to Flagstaff police.


Police said Verlarde, who had witnessed the crime, told police what happened. Later Thursday morning, police arrested Ortiz on various charges, including first degree murder.


Both men face additional charges including kidnapping and disorderly conduct with a weapon.