Ariz. Mom Is Fatally Shot While in Car, and Ex Is Suspect: 'A Beautiful Person'

Police in Arizona have arrested a 21-year-old man, accusing him of murdering his 25-year-old ex-girlfriend in a shooting that left a 29-year-old man and the man’s 3-year-old daughter wounded.

PEOPLE confirms Mateo Zavala is being held on $1 million bail for allegedly killing Marilynn Pacheco — who leaves behind a 7-year-old daughter — in a shooting that took place in Green Valley on Saturday at around 5 p.m.

Zavala has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and single counts of first-degree murder, felony endangerment, and drive by shooting.

PEOPLE was unable to determine whether he has entered pleas to the charges or if he’s represented by a lawyer who could comment on his behalf.

Pacheco was a passenger in a car driven by her friend. A statement from investigators says the friend’s daughter was also in the car.

Police responded to a call about gunfire being exchanged between two cars and arrived to find all three victims with gunshot wounds.

They were raced to Banner University Medical Center, where Pacheco was pronounced dead. The man and his little girl were treated and released.

Police confirm that Pacheco and Zavala “are known to each other,” but Pacheco’s mother, Susan Stemper, told KOLD the two had dated.

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According to Stemper, Zavala was a jealous ex-boyfriend that would not stop contacting Pacheco after the split.

“He would always come back, he would threaten her every single time that he was going to kill her,” the grieving mom alleged.

Stemper hopes her daughter’s death inspired women in abusive relationships to take action.

“I don’t want Marilynn’s death to be unnoticed,” she said. “I want somebody, at least a person, to learn from it and to save themselves. I don’t know if this was preventable or not, but I just hope somebody can get away from situations like that.”

A GoFundMe campaign has been established to cover the costs of Pacheco’s funeral.

The people who created the page described Pacheco as “a beautiful person who should have had her whole life ahead of her.”

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