This is a tragic and ongoing story, and I’ve tried to present the latest information available. I’ll update as needed.
Former major-league pitcher Charlie Haeger, 37, was found dead on October 3 on a trail in the Grand Canyon in Arizona. He had apparently shot himself after allegedly shooting his ex-girlfriend, Danielle Breed, on Friday, October 2.
Breed (who went by her maiden name of Danielle Long), 34, was the owner of the Tipsy Coyote Bar & Grille in Scottsdale, Arizona. It had opened in 2018 and was still operating through May 2020 at least.
Danielle Long’s story deserves to be told, because all too frequently, people in her position end up being thought of as just a murder victim, particularly since her alleged killer was to some degree a celebrity. I wish I had more information to tell you. Her life was taken, but her memory should remain. So if you have more to tell beyond what I’ve written here, use the Contact Form and tell me your memories of her. I’ll add recollections to help tell her story in more detail.
Danielle Long was from Tucson, Ariz., and had bar-tended in several locations in Scottsdale. In 2018, she was working as a bartender at the Tilted Kilt in Scottsdale. When the restaurant closed, she got investors together, bought the building and reopened it as The Tipsy Coyote.
“I could not be more excited or feel more blessed. Thank you to my friends, family, amazing staff, and incredible regulars for helping even make this possible. God is so good. And it’s only going to get so much better. Stay tuned for updates, it’s gonna be a good one!” she wrote in a Facebook update in June of 2018.
The restaurant opened and remained in operation until the Coronavirus pandemic shut everything down this year. Like so many businesses that depend on public gatherings for its livelihood, it tried to remain in operations for as long as it could but permanently closed.
Long, in 2019, went on a mission trip to Tanzania, working with schoolchildren. Fox 10 News in Phoenix reported that she planned to return next year. The exact timeline of her relationship with Haeger isn’t clear at the moment, but they had been separated for several months. Fox also reports that she had been seeking to get a restraining order issued against Haeger for cyberstalking her.
Per the Arizona Republic: On Friday October 2, Long’s roommate returned to their residents and heard gunshots coming from her bedroom. Moments later, Haeger exited the room with a gun, saw the roommate and aimed the gun at him. He escaped and called 911. Police arrived around 6:50 PM, entered the residence and found Long’s body.
Barricades were set up to keep Haeger from fleeing, but he was able to get away. On Saturday, October 3, police found his grey Chrysler Voyager abandoned near Flagstaff. Haeger was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound along the Rim Trail at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon around 4PM — about 230 miles away from the scene of the murder.
Haeger pitched for the Chicago White Sox (2006-07), San Diego Padres (2008) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2009-10). He also pitched in the Seattle and Boston organizations, though he never made the major leagues with either team. He was born on September 19, 1983, in Livonia, Mich., and was drafted by the White Sox in the 25th Round of the 2001 MLB June Amateur Draft.
Haeger never spent a full season in the major leagues, constantly moving between his current parent club and its AAA affiliate. After a couple of unsuccessful seasons in the Rookie League, he spent 2003 out of baseball and returned in 2004 as a knuckleball pitcher. The pitch turned his pro career around and got him a chance to break into the majors in 2006.
In five years in the majors, he had some success in limited action. He appeared in a total of 34 games, 10 of which were starts. He had a 2-7 record and a 6.40 ERA, with 69 strikeouts, 59 walks and 13 home runs allowed in 83 innings. After his playing career, he worked as a coach in the Rays organization as a minor-league pitching coordinator and was supposed to have been the Cubs AA pitching coach this year.
If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic abuse and need help, please visit https://www.thehotline.org or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).