Tragic Shooting Death In Florida of Beloved Former Local Mental-Health Advocate

We remember Missy Kupferberg fondly as a staunch advocate for the seriously mentally ill here in the Phoenix area.

Missy was a sweetheart did not suffer fools gladly, and she was more than willing to provide us with serious examples of wrongdoing by the powers-that-be in what passed then (and now) as a mental-health "system."

She went on to work as a mitigation specialist for the Maricopa County Public Defender's Office, before moving to Tampa, Florida, years ago for a gig as an investigator for the federal public defender.

We got the very sad word yesterday that Missy died over the weekend, the victim of a single shot from a Glock Model 34 to the chest.

Tragically, her killer was her 65-year-old father, who was visiting from another state. The pair apparently were cleaning their guns after spending time at a local range. Police are calling the shooting an accident. 


Melissa Kupferbert was just 32 years old.

Friends tell us that she was working on a how-to book with an Arizona State University professor about the ins and outs of investigation. It was a topic she knew well.

What a tragedy!



All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >