Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man slain in home invasion

GIBSONTON — Guillermo Serpa-Morales moved from Peru to Florida seven years ago, seeking a better life for himself and his three children. He worked factory and construction jobs and sent money back to his family.

But early Saturday, he was shot to death in a home invasion robbery.

"It was only for money," his sister Laura Aurea Bradley, 52, said. The thieves, she said, took off with about $500.

It all started just after midnight, when Serpa-Morales, 32, was sitting on the concrete stoop of a house in the 7000 block of Nundy Avenue in Gibsonton. His brother, Luis Serpa-Morales, 48, and a friend, Juan Cortez-Garcia, 34, were with him, smoking cigarettes.

Three hooded men ran up the sidewalk, carrying two guns and a metal pipe. Luis Serpa-Morales said they hit his brother and friend with the gun. Then they pushed him to the ground and started punching and kicking him, he said. They demanded money.

Cortez-Garcia ran into the house, but Homero Mendiola, 17, smashed the front window's glass and followed. The brothers ran next door but the men followed, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reported.

That's when, deputies say, the men demanded money and hit Guadalupe Govea. Two of the men — Richard L. McCormick, 18, and the unidentified third man — fired shots, deputies reported. The bullets hit Salvadore Mateo-Victorano, 38, and Guillermo Serpa-Morales.

A witness said he heard McCormick say he thought he might have killed someone.

Serpa-Morales was declared dead at the scene. Mateo-Victorano was taken to Tampa General Hospital with injuries that weren't life-threatening. He was released Saturday, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said.

Deputies arrested McCormick of Gibsonton and took him to the Orient Road Jail, where he remained Saturday without bail. Mendiola was arrested and taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center. Both of them were charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, robbery and aggravated assault. A decision on whether Mendiola will be charged as a juvenile or adult rests with the State Attorney's Office.

McCormick has a history of arrests as a juvenile and an adult, state records show. In February, he was charged with burglary and vehicle theft, but he was given pretrial diversion. Mendiola has been charged in the past with misdemeanor theft and domestic battery.

Deputies are still looking for the third man involved in the robbery and shooting.

Saturday afternoon, family of Serpa-Morales gathered at the house as several men covered the broken window with plywood. Bradley cried as she spoke of her brother.

"He's a very nice guy, very friendly," she said.

Man slain in home invasion 08/09/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 2:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Shakeup on Adam Putnam campaign

    Blogs

    In a sign of unsteadiness for what  had  looked like a strong-out-of-the-gate Adam Putnam campaign, the Republican frontrunner suddenly fired his campaign manager and political director. Hard-charging Campaign manager Kristin Davis and political director Jared Small were two of the three outsiders to join …

    Putnam campaigning in Destin the other day as part of his 22-city bus tour
  2. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  3. Tampa man arrested for killing man in his USF-area home

    Crime

    TAMPA — A Tampa man was arrested Monday in the death of man found killed at a home in the University of South Florida area last week, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Kadeem Dareem Archibald, 26, was arrested Monday on a  second degree murder charge in the University Area killing of Khando Kerr. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Report: Trump asked intel chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence

    National

    President Donald Trump asked two of the nation's top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, the Washington Post reports, citing current and former officials.

    From  left, CIA Director Mike Pompeo; Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats; and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers take their seats on Capitol Hill on May 11 before  testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on major threats facing the U.S. [Associated Press]
  5. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”