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Man identified in fatal Valrico shooting

VALRICO — Deputies have identified a man who was fatally shot just before midnight Monday outside a home.

Jerome R. Otero, 24, of 39153 Dungan Road in Zephyrhills was found wounded after a report of shots fired, said the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies went to 326 Sacramento St., and when they arrived, they found a man lying beside the road. Otero was taken to Brandon Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, deputies said.

Detectives say Otero was among a group of men who might have been conducting a drug transaction at a vacant house at 519 Sonoma Drive in Valrico.

Sometime during the transaction, they believe, Otero was shot and ran to Sacramento Street, where he collapsed.

Deputies remained at the Sacramento Street house Tuesday morning, blocking off the scene for several houses in each direction. Deputies had vehicles parked in the driveway of one house, which is two stories, and were looking around the house with flashlights. The crime scene was across the street from a retention pond, a pool and a playground.

The quiet suburban neighborhood, called Brandon Brook, is north of State Road 60.

Tom Hall, 62, said he has lived in the neighborhood for more than a decade. "We've never had a problem," he said. "It's been a great neighborhood."

Maribelle Garcia, 44, said she heard helicopters the night before and thought it was from an accident on the nearby highway.

Garcia said she has lived in her house for 10 years, and the only time she remembers police coming to the neighborhood was when a child drowned in a pool.

Fatal shooting in Brandon

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Man identified in fatal Valrico shooting 01/12/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 11:20pm]
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