tampabay.com

Slaying tally at 10 after gunshot

The details on a fight ending in the death of a Mexican man are scant. The Tommytown homicide is the county's 10th this year.

By MOLLY MOORHEAD
Published July 4, 2006


DADE CITY - The latest homicide in Pasco County occurred early Monday when an argument erupted in a Tommytown apartment, leaving one man dead of a gunshot wound.

The shooting brings the tally to 10 homicides so far this year in the county, compared with 15 in all of 2005.

Of the 2006 cases, authorities have not made arrests in seven of them.

The identity of the shooting victim, a Mexican man in his 20s, had not been released Monday afternoon. The Sheriff's Office was searching for his relatives in Mexico.

No other details were released, including how many people were in the apartment, the type of gun used and where the man was struck.

The shooting occurred about 1:30 a.m. in an apartment complex at 14860 17th St. that houses mostly farm workers. Few in the complex answered their doors Monday; one man said in Spanish that he had been asleep when he heard gunfire.

Police initially responded to a 911 call of a man injured and bleeding from a fight. They arrived to find that he had been shot. He was flown to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where he was pronounced dead.

No arrests had been made Monday afternoon.

"They have an idea who might have committed this," sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin said. "We're just in the process of trying to continue to interview the individuals and see if we can come up with a name."

Tobin said comparing crime statistics year by year is not reliable for detecting trends. He would not comment on whether Pasco has seen increased drug activity that could be leading to more violent crimes.

"We've had a significant increase in homicides as compared to 2005," he said. "It has been a busy last quarter."

Times staff writer Jamal Thalji contributed to this report.