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Plant City teen dies in gang-related gunfight, deputies say

Published May 3, 2006

TAMPA - A 15-year-old Plant City boy died as the result of a gang-related shooting this weekend, Hillsborough sheriff's deputies announced Tuesday.

Arnulfo Montelongo was shot to death outside 3347 Willow Road in Wimauma after 8 p.m. Sunday.

Montelongo lived at 1206 W Granfield Ave. in Plant City and was a member of the SUR-13 gang, investigators said.

Hillsborough sheriff's deputies say Montelongo, Christian Villanueva, 19, and a third person drove up to the Willow Road residence in a green Ford Explorer and exchanged gunfire with the occupants of the home.

During the gunfight, Montelongo and Villanueva got out of the SUV. At some point, both of them were shot, along with Martin Rosalez, 19, and Daniel Barrios, 16, two visitors at the home.

A South Bay Hospital official reported that Rosalez, Barrios and Villanueva were each released from the hospital's care on Sunday.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said investigators had determined that Montelongo was a member of the SUR-13 gang and Villanueva is a member of the 301-Boyz gang.

Montelongo was not enrolled in Hillsborough County public schools, a spokesman said. Sheriff's investigators were still sorting through conflicting witnesses' statements Tuesday, Carter said.

All the victims are acquaintances, sheriff's officials said, and it's not known what caused the shooting. But Carter said investigators are calling it gang-related.

Montelongo, who went by "Shorty," according to public records, has been arrested eight times since April 2004. The charges against him have included battery on a law enforcement officer, aggravated battery and possession of marijuana.

Times researcher Angie Drobnic-Holan contributed to this story.

[Last modified May 3, 2006, 01:34:09]

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