Shortly after being pursued by police for the shooting death of his ex-girlfriend in Arizona, Cubs minor-league coach and former White Sox pitcher Charlie Haeger was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound Saturday near the Grand Canyon.
Haeger’s body was discovered on a trail near the South Rim late Saturday, Scottsdale, Arizona, police said. Haeger, 37, was on the run, suspected of killing 34-year-old Danielle Breed Long, his former girlfriend, inside her home the day before.
According to the Arizona Republic, police said Long’s roommate returned home Friday afternoon and heard shots from Long’s room as he arrived. Haeger emerged from the room and pointed a handgun at the roommate, who was able to escape out the back of the house and call 911.
Haeger evaded the Scottsdale Police SWAT team, which had arrived on the scene and set up barricades to stop him from escaping. Police found Long, the owner of the Tipsy Coyote Bar and Grill in Scottsdale, dead in her bed.
Haeger’s 2020 Chrysler Voyager was found near Flagstaff in northern Arizona, 118 miles north of Scottsdale.
Haeger was hired by the Cubs last November to be the Class AA Tennessee Smokies’ pitching coach this season. He attended spring-training activities in Mesa, Arizona, but the minor-league season was canceled in June because of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Fox 10 News in Phoenix, “Long is remembered as a woman full of positivity and known for her big heart, a church volunteer who worked with children in Africa.”
Her mother, Jane Long, spoke to her an hour before she was killed.
“He broke a lot of people,” Long told Fox 10 before learning of Haeger’s death. “He shattered a lot of people today, and he knows that. He knows how close our family was. He used to come to the family gatherings.”
Long’s family said she wanted to get a restraining order against Haeger for cyberstalking her, according to Fox 10.
Haeger was selected by the Sox in the 25th round of the 2001 draft and spent parts of five seasons in the majors with the Sox, Padres and Dodgers, posting a career 6.04 ERA. He appeared in 15 games of the 2006 and 2007 seasons with ERAs of 3.44 and 7.15 for the Sox.
His debut came on May 10, 2006, after getting called up from Class AAA Charlotte. He got the start and allowed six runs in 4⅓ innings in a 12-5 loss to the Angels at U.S. Cellular Field. Haeger returned to Charlotte after that but rejoined the Sox in September, allowing two earned runs in six relief appearances. He struggled in 2007 and was claimed off waivers by the Padres in 2008.