Friday, April 20, 2018
Public safety

Man found dead in Tampa apartment complex courtyard identified

TAMPA — Marcos Giron's doorstep was less than 10 yards away from officials who hauled a dead man onto a stretcher on Tuesday morning.

Yet Giron, 26, had no answers. He heard someone knock on his door and helicopters circling above, but he didn't hear the fatal gunshots.

"It was hard to sleep last night," he said. "I heard noises."

It had been a long morning for Giron and other restless residents at Avesta Apartments, 2016 131st Ave. E., where Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to several reports of gunshots just before 3 a.m.

Officials confirmed that Kortney Dubron Jerry, 33, of 340 W 22nd St. in Riviera Beach, was found dead in the complex's courtyard.

Deputies did not have any suspects early Tuesday. There is speculation that the shooting may have been the result of a drug deal gone wrong.

The apartment complex is the spot where a 3-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed himself in with a 9mm handgun nearly a year ago, and where a 21-year-old man was found shot to death in 2012.

Residents had different accounts of arguing, gunshots and screams for help.

"I couldn't go back to sleep for nothing. I knew something was wrong," said Danielle Caldwell, 24, a new mother of triplet girls. "I don't come outside because my life is more important now. I have three kids."

On the other side of the complex, Chris Thompson, 29, woke up to helicopters circling the area. He said his friend told him that there was arguing before the gunshot.

Thompson, who has lived at Avesta Apartments for the past two years, said there are a lot of boys that hang out around the area where the man was found dead.

"It's getting dangerous waking up and knowing someone's been shot around you," he said.

Across the street at The Oaks at Stone Fountain Apartments, a neighboring apartment complex, Marie Hernandez awoke to gunshots. She knew a murder had just taken place.

"I thought it was someone just messing around, but then I saw the police," said Hernandez, 14, as she waited for her school bus to arrive.

Kevin Mathews, 35, arrived at Avesta to pick up a friend for a carpool to work. He was shocked at the news, but said he wasn't surprised.

"Stuff happens all the time," Mathews said. "It's getting bad over here."

He called for increased police patrols.

"The only time I see a police presence is when someone calls them or something happens," Mathews said. "It's a shame."

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