TARPON SPRINGS — When Gerry Baden's wife heard a crackle after the Super Bowl late Sunday, she thought it was fireworks. Baden thought it sounded more like someone banging on garage doors in their quiet, gated subdivision off Alt. U.S. 19.
Within minutes, they got a call from another resident at the Anclote Point Townhomes. There was a body on the ground in front of 1197 Flying Fish Lane.
"We couldn't believe it," Baden said.
A 33-year-old man had collapsed against his garage door. He died late Sunday after being shot multiple times by an unknown assailant, police said.
The garage door was still marred by blood spatters Monday evening. Detectives were withholding the victim's identity until they notified his relatives.
Baden said he knew the victim and that he was a local martial arts instructor. "His business wasn't doing as well as he would like," Baden said. "But he was trying to make ends meet."
"We do not feel any other citizens are in danger," said Tarpon Springs police Capt. Jeffrey Young.
Police also don't think there's any link between this death and the murder of an elderly Tarpon Springs couple last month on Chesapeake Drive, Young said. Police say that couple suffered trauma to their upper bodies, but investigators have not named a suspect or said exactly how the couple was killed.
Some residents of Anclote Point were surprised that something like this could happen in their secluded, waterfront community where streets have names like Coquina Drive and Starfish Lane.
"It's usually nice and quiet and peaceful," said Gene Zeh, 72, who lives around the corner from the victim in another pastel-colored three-story home.
"Nobody even knows we're here," said Baden, 64, who is the homeowners association president. Most residents, he said, are around his age or older and have pretty mellow lifestyles.
"We live here because it's crime-free."
Times researcher Carolyn Edds and Times Staff Writer Demorris Lee contributed to this report. Lorri Helfand can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4155.