Wife of well-known barber killed in Avondale shooting shares heartbreak: ‘He was my everything’

Angelica and Gabriel Sotelo were high school sweethearts, being together for 17 years and married for five.
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 10:42 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2022 at 7:36 PM MST
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GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Family, friends and customers gathered outside Forever Young studio in Glendale on Tuesday night, mourning the loss of Gabriel Sotelo, better known as “Young AZ” to many around him. Sotelo was shot and killed while driving in Avondale on Saturday afternoon.

Candles, flowers, photos and a basketball was set up in front of the studio Sotelo owned. Among those in attendance at the growing memorial was Sotelo’s wife, Angelica. “That was the hardest moment of my life. I never thought I’d be in that position to just not be able to say bye to him. Just not be able to hold him. He’s just the love of my life,” she said through tears.

Angelica and Gabriel were high school sweethearts, being together for 17 years and married for five. “He was my everything,” she said. Angelica says she is pregnant, saying Gabriel wanted the baby so badly. She added this senseless act of violence will never make sense to her.

Sotelo leaves behind his wife and four kids. “My dad was a great man, and I love him, and I can’t believe this happened to my life,” said one of Sotelo’s daughters.

Sotelo was shot and killed as he was driving in Avondale on Saturday afternoon.
Sotelo was shot and killed as he was driving in Avondale on Saturday afternoon.(Arizona's Family)

Police arrested 29-year-old Raymond Pipkin after the freeway shooting. Investigators say Pipkin started shooting at cars on the freeway before crashing into a motorcyclist. Sotelo died, and three others were hurt. Pipkin faces various charges, including first-degree murder.

New court documents show Pipkin “knows what he did was wrong” and “feels guilty.” When asked what he would say to the family of the person he killed, Pipkin said he would “tell them he takes full responsibility and accountability for his actions.”

Sotelo’s nephew, Isais Gallardo, is now following in his uncle’s footsteps to become a barber, hoping to carry on his legacy. “He wanted me to come in here (his work) and cut with him part time,” Gallardo said. “His family was robbed of a great father and great man. Anything he did, his first priority was his kids.”

The family has set up a GoFundMe. On Wednesday, Dos Chris’ Bakery and Charcuterie Co. will be donating half of their proceeds from sales to Sotelo’s family and will have a donation jar set up. They are located at 6007 North 16th St., Phoenix, AZ 85016.