Sunday, May 20, 2018
Public safety

Deputies: Town 'N Country man tries to shoot wife, but gun malfunctions

TOWN 'N COUNTRY — Authorities have charged a Town 'N Country man with attempted murder, saying he broke into the house of his estranged wife Saturday and tried to shoot her in the chest.

Julio Villanueva-Vasquez, 44, arrived at the house at about 1:30 a.m. and punctured the tires of a friend who was visiting his wife at 6720 Preston Court, deputies say.

He then broke into the house and fought with his wife, Katherinez Villanueva, 23, before pulling a handgun from his waist band.

He pointed the gun at her chest and fired, but nothing happened, deputies say.

He racked the slide twice and fired twice more, but the gun continued to malfunction, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Villanueva-Vasquez then ran away.

Katherinez Villanueva suffered a cut to her face but otherwise was unharmed, deputies say. She identified her husband as the attacker, and authorities soon determined that she had an injunction against Villanueva-Vasquez that he had violated.

Authorities soon found him at his house, at 10202 Westbranch Court, and arrested him.

Villanueva-Vasquez faces charges of attempted felony murder, burglary of dwelling with assault, violation of domestic violence injunction and criminal mischief.

He remained in jail Monday without bail.

This wasn't the first time Villanueva-Vasquez violated the injunction that his estranged wife got for protection in August, records show.

On Oct. 10, he went to her place of work to try to talk to her, deputies say. She called 911.

She told the deputy that she and Villanueva-Vasquez have a child together — a boy who is now 6. They were going through a divorce at the time, she told the deputy.

He was charged with violating a domestic injunction and pleaded not guilty.

The charges were dropped Feb. 25.

Times news researcher John Martin and staff writer Laura C. Morel contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3433.

Comments
Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

Family, friends recall shooting victims’ optimism, humor

SANTA FE, Texas — A 17-year-old student looking forward to celebrating his family's new swimming pool and a substitute teacher whose home frequently hosted family gatherings were among the 10 people killed in a mass shooting at a Texas high sch...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Burglary suspect jumps into Hillsborough canal to escape deputies, officials say

Burglary suspect jumps into Hillsborough canal to escape deputies, officials say

TAMPA — After a botched burglary, a fleeing suspect jumped into a canal to escape deputies Saturday afternoon, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The person has not yet been identified. The suspect tried to break into a business on...
Published: 05/19/18
Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors ‘critical’

Cuba: 110 died in plane crash, 3 survivors ‘critical’

HAVANA — The only three survivors of Cuba’s worst aviation disaster in three decades were clinging to life Saturday, a day after their passenger jet crashed in a fireball in Havana’s rural outskirts with 113 people on board. In the first official dea...
Published: 05/19/18
He lured young men looking for weed. Their bodies turned up in a pig roaster.

He lured young men looking for weed. Their bodies turned up in a pig roaster.

Cosmo DiNardo declared "I am a savage no explanation needed" on social media seven months before police say he lured four young men to his family’s farm, shot them to death, ran one of them over with a backhoe and dumped three of their bodies in a pi...
Published: 05/19/18
Off-duty Largo firefighter arrested on DUI charge

Off-duty Largo firefighter arrested on DUI charge

DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies arrested an off-duty Largo firefighter found asleep at the wheel shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday.Patrol deputies saw a 2013 Dodge Dart, facing west and stopped in the intersection of Main Street and Bass Bou...
Published: 05/19/18
After Texas school shooting, Tampa Bay officials will step up security

After Texas school shooting, Tampa Bay officials will step up security

Hours after Friday’s deadly school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, bay area law enforcement officials pledged to beef up school security for the last remaining days of the school year.Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister held a news conference late Frid...
Published: 05/18/18
Largo police seek person of interest linked to missing man

Largo police seek person of interest linked to missing man

LARGO — Police are searching for a person of interest in the January disappearance of a 24-year-old man.The missing man is Timothy Patrick Cullen, 24, who Largo police said was last seen Jan. 22 at his home in the 500 block of Seventh Ave NE. His veh...
Published: 05/18/18
Pasco man accused of abusing 3-month-old infant

Pasco man accused of abusing 3-month-old infant

BAYONET POINT — A 26-year-old man was arrested Thursday on a charge of aggravated child abuse and accused of fracturing an infant’s skull, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.Brandon Scott Madrishin told deputies that a 3-month-old infant ...
Published: 05/18/18
20 years later, Hank Earl Carr’s victims are still loved and remembered

20 years later, Hank Earl Carr’s victims are still loved and remembered

When her school bus pulled up to her house that day, Ashley Bell spotted her mom’s car in the driveway and wondered why it was there. A 14-year-old latchkey kid, Bell usually got home before her mother Carolyn arrived from her job as a nurse at St. J...
Published: 05/18/18
Teen held in Texas attack is said to have used father’s guns

Teen held in Texas attack is said to have used father’s guns

SANTA FE, Texas — The Texas student charged in the school shooting at Santa Fe High School posted an image on Facebook of himself wearing a "Born to Kill" shirt and used his father’s shotgun and pistol in the attack that left 10 dead and 10 wounded, ...
Published: 05/18/18