Reports reveal new details in killing outside Publix in downtown St. Petersburg

In this undated photo, Eddy Vasquez, right, and Andres Torres pose for a photo. Police have arrested Torres in the Friday shooting death of Vasquez. Torres has been charged with armed kidnapping and second-degree murder.

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In this undated photo, Eddy Vasquez, right, and Andres Torres pose for a photo. Police have arrested Torres in the Friday shooting death of Vasquez. Torres has been charged with armed kidnapping and second-degree murder.

ST. PETERSBURG—After Andres Rodriguez Torres shot and killed his friend outside a downtown Publix early Saturday, police said, he dragged a witness back to his apartment and held him captive.

Police said Torres, 26, shot Eddy Vasquez, 27, twice in the abdomen with a semiautomatic handgun while they argued outside the Publix on Third Street S about 4 a.m. after a night of bar hopping. Vasquez died at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg Hospital a few hours later.

Much about what sparked the violence between the longtime friends and former classmates remained unclear Monday. But arrest affidavits obtained Monday did shed new light on what happened after the shooting.

Torres, reports state, turned on a witness who saw him shoot Vasquez. He gripped the witness in a headlock and took him back to his apartment at 324 Fourth St. S. and told him he couldn't leave. The witness was afraid Torres would kill him, the report states.

Police arrested Torres at his apartment just before 8:45 a.m. Saturday. The report did not identify the witness and it's unclear whether that person was still being held captive when police arrived to arrest Torres.

Vasquez was the director of international sales at the Gainesville-based online music-streaming service Grooveshark. He was in town for a friend's wedding Friday night. Friends say he went from that event to downtown St. Petersburg to celebrate Torres' birthday.

Pavle Stojkovic, Vasquez's best friend, was confounded Monday even as new information began to trickle in. In St. Petersburg to help Vasquez's family plan his funeral, Stojkovic, 26, said he knew Torres through Vasquez. When he read initial news reports about the shooting, Stojkovic thought the suspect's name was a coincidence, that "there's another Andres."

Stojkovic is still struggling to piece together the night's events but doesn't think he knows the witness who police say Torres kidnapped. Mutual friends who spent time with the pair earlier in the evening had fallen away by the time of the shooting, Stojkovic said.

"Everyone that's connected to me in any way was long gone before that," Stojkovic said.

Torres was charged with armed kidnapping and second degree murder. He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail, where he remained without bond Monday.

"What would be important to me would be just what Andres was thinking," Stojkovic said. "That's the internal component that only he can give us."

Claire Wiseman can be reached at (727) 893-8804 or cwiseman@tampabay.com. On Twitter: @clairelwiseman.

Reports reveal new details in killing outside Publix in downtown St. Petersburg 11/11/13 [Last modified: Monday, November 11, 2013 11:06pm]

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