Former Major League Baseball pitcher Charles Haeger was found dead on Saturday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the Grand Canyon after allegedly killing his ex-girlfriend, according to police. For the second time in less than two years, the Chicago Cubs have issued a statement about an employee’s violent behavior toward women.
While the Chicago Cubs organization continues to say that it cares about advocating against domestic violence, they continue to employ domestic abusers. Haeger was hired by the Cubs in 2019 to be the pitching coach for Double-A Tennessee Smokies. According to The Athletic, Haeger also worked for a training facility owned by Cubs director of hitting Justin Stone.
Haeger, 37, had been on the run since Friday, after police in Arizona named him as a suspect in the murder of 34-year-old Danielle Breed.
A male roommate of Breed’s heard multiple gunshots coming from Breed’s bedroom, and saw Haeger leaving the room minutes later with a handgun, according to a police report. Haeger saw the roommate and proceeded to point the handgun in his direction. The roommate was able to escape out of the back of the residence and call 911.
Breed and Haeger, who were once a couple, had not been together for months. She had wanted to obtain a restraining order against him, according to a report from Fox 10 Phoenix.
The Cubs released a statement on the incident.
“First, we would like to express our condolences to the family of Danielle Breed,” Cubs Vice President of Communications Julian Green said in a statement before Haeger’s death was announced. “Our hearts and prayers go out to her family, friends, and loved ones during this difficult time.”
“Charles Haeger was hired by the Chicago Cubs organization as a minor league pitching coach in November 2019. Haeger initially attended Spring Training activities, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic which suspended operations and forced the cancellation of the 2020 Minor League season, his role and team interactions have been limited. Given this is an active investigation, we are assisting the Scottsdale Police Department and will not make any further comment.”
This isn’t the first time that the Cubs have employed abusers in their organization. In 2018 it was reported that Addison Russell physically abused his ex-wife, and was forced to serve a 40 game suspension under the league’s domestic violence policy.
Russell also participated in league-mandated therapy, an educational program, and also hired a personal therapist. The Cubs eventually cut Russell loose in 2019, after issuing a bizarre statement explaining that his release had nothing to do with his domestic violence suspension.
Haeger was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2001, and he pitched in the major leagues from 2006 to 2010. He played for the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, and Boston Red Sox.
The incident involving Haeger serves as yet another reminder of the horrors of domestic violence and how we, as a society, must be dedicated to thwarting this abuse at all costs.