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Hillsborough deputies make arrest in fatal double stabbing

TAMPA — Deputies arrested a man Sunday evening in the stabbing death last week of Ovidio Sanchez, whose body was found in a drainage ditch.

Deputies say Gabriel Rivera-Pagan, 24, of Tampa stabbed Sanchez on Dec. 23 after he and Luis Rivers, 19, a friend of Rivera-Pagan's, got into an argument over $10 worth of marijuana at Angel's Smoke Shop, 4040 W Waters Ave.

Sanchez, 45, confronted Rivers, demanding money, investigators said. During the dispute, Sanchez pulled a knife and stabbed Rivers twice in the chest, deputies said.

Rivers, covered in blood, stumbled into a nearby 7-Eleven store, asking for an ambulance. He was treated at St. Joseph's Hospital.

Detectives said Rivera-Pagan, who witnessed the attack, then stabbed Sanchez multiple times, telling witnesses beforehand, "I'm gonna get him, I'm gonna get him, I'm gonna get him."

Sanchez's body was found in a ditch at W Waters and N Lois avenues. A rescue unit tried unsuccessfully to revive him.

Rivera-Pagan faces a charge of first-degree murder with a weapon. State records show Rivera-Pagan has been imprisoned twice on charges that include grand theft and trafficking in stolen property. He was last released in March.

Hillsborough deputies make arrest in fatal double stabbing 12/30/12 [Last modified: Sunday, December 30, 2012 11:15pm]
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