Numerous friends and family members of fallen Arizona Department of Public Safety officer Robert Martin, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop nearly 15 years ago, continued a yearly tradition of cleaning up a section of state Route 87 close to a memorial honoring him.
The group, which met on Saturday, also included members of the Arizona Department of Transportation and the DPS Explorers. They cleaned up a mile section of Route 87, the Beeline Highway, in the southbound lane within a mile of Mile Marker 197 near the memorial honoring Martin.
Martin, 57, a 27-year veteran with DPS, was shot and killed during a traffic stop about seven miles north of Shea Boulevard on Aug. 15, 1995, according to the Arizona Highway Patrol Association.
“This year is particularly harder, as our law enforcement community has lost two officers in the last month and a half,” said Dennis Isaacson, who was Martin’s sergeant. “The death of Gilbert police Lt. Eric Shuhandler was a routine traffic stop just like Bob’s was.”
Shuhandler, 42, was shot and killed on Jan. 28.
Christopher Redondo, 35, of Globe, who is accused of fatally shooting Shuhandler in the head, was charged with first-degree murder, four counts of drive-by shooting and 19 counts of aggravated assault.
Daimen Irizarry, 30, of Gilbert, who was driving their vehicle, is charged with four counts of drive-by shooting, nine counts of aggravated assault and unlawful flight from police.
Martin’s assailant, Ernesto Salgado Martinez, a 19-year-old convict, also from Globe, fled the scene and was captured two days later in California, according to the Arizona Highway Patrol Association. Martinez was convicted on Sept. 26, 1997, of one count of first-degree murder, two counts of theft and one count of weapons misconduct, and was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 1998.
Martinez currently remains incarcerated in an Arizona Department of Corrections prison where he remains a death row inmate. The next review date in connection with his sentence is Aug. 13, 2010, according to prison records.