TAMPA — It was the day after last year's Super Bowl and Angel Felix Pina was watching television at an acquaintance's house near Plant City.
They got into an argument. Moments later, Pina's friend, 18-year-old Caleb Bruce Rife, was dead from a gunshot wound.
"Somehow, words were exchanged. Pina got upset with Rife and pulled out a gun and shot him," said Hillsborough sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter.
Two days after the Feb. 8 shooting, detectives got a warrant for Pina's arrest. They believed Pina, 28, had left the Tampa Bay area, en route to Mexico. Detectives asked for help from Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, who arrested him Saturday in the Texas border town of Brownsville.
Reached Thursday at her home, Rife's mother, Linda Rife, said, "I'm just very happy that he's caught. It took too long for me."
She described Rife as a good kid who tried to stay out of trouble.
"Regardless of what he did, that still didn't allow for Angel to do what he did," she said.
Rife's mother said her son loved to fish, hunt and hang out with his friends. The morning before he was killed, Rife had been hunting and shot his first rabbit. He had also recently picked out a red-nosed American pit bull puppy he named Diesel.
Carter said Pina confessed to Rife's killing during questioning. He will be transported to Tampa by federal officials within one to two weeks, she said.
Lee Logan can be reached at (813) 226-3383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.