Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Neighborhood argument in Tampa culminates in double killing

Juan Molina faces charges of murder and aggravated assault.

Juan Molina faces charges of murder and aggravated assault.

TAMPA — A 45-year-old Tampa man killed two neighbors, then was shot in the face, during an ongoing dispute that escalated Saturday night from sharp words to gunfire, police said.

Juan Molina was arrested and charged with two counts of second-degree murder and aggravated assault. Tampa police said he shot and killed Erica White, 42, and Percy Basden, 53.

At 8 p.m. Saturday, police said, Molina confronted White, shooting and killing her. Neighbors said White, who lived nearby, died on the street, her body found on the pavement in front of Molina's house at 2311 E 110th Ave.

Molina then walked to Basden's home several hundred feet east on 110th Avenue and shot through the front door, killing Basden, police said.

Molina tried to climb through a front window of Basden's home, but Basden's adult stepson shot him in the face, said police Lt. Ron McMullen.

Molina was taken to Tampa General Hospital, underwent surgery and was in serious condition Sunday, though he is expected to survive, McMullen said.

"It's clear that this family has issues with everyone in the neighborhood," he said of Molina and his son, also named Juan Molina, who was arrested on an aggravated assault charge after police say he threatened a neighbor with a knife.

McMullen said it is not clear if the incident was connected to the killings, although jail records show the younger Molina, 25, was placed under arrest early Sunday at police headquarters.

He said detectives have not yet released details about why the trio was arguing. He said it was an "ongoing" dispute over a variety of issues.

"I just know it was a simple verbal argument that escalated," McMullen said. "Two people are dead and one person is going to spend the rest of his life in jail. It makes no sense."

He added, "They were fighting like little children."

Basden's wife, Michell Basden, told Bay News 9 that she was at a birthday party Saturday night when she got a call that her husband had been shot and killed. She said she did not know why.

Her husband kept to himself, spending most of his time at work, church or with his family, she told Bay News 9.

Richard Jones, 60, who lives two houses down from the Basden residence, said he heard a loud argument but couldn't tell what it was about.

At one point, Jones said, he heard someone yell, "You're going to be sorry for what you did."

Jones said he then heard gunfire erupt, moving from one end of the street to the other. He stayed inside his home.

"It was like a machine gun going off," he said.

McMullen said the three individuals knew one another and police had previously responded to the location to investigate disturbances. The neighborhood is just east of Interstate 275 and south of E Fowler Avenue.

Larry Porter, 52, who lives nearly across the street from the spot where White died, said those involved in the altercation had once been friends whose relationship soured for reasons he did not know.

"They ate together, they played together, laughed together, joked together," Porter said. "They grew up liking each other. But they ended up hating each other."

Molina was listed as president of Molina and Sons Drywall, which records show is inactive.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, he pleaded guilty to 1997 felony charges of burglary of a residence, burglary of a vehicle and grand theft. Adjudication was withheld and he was sentenced to probation and community service, the records show.

In 2003, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of soliciting another to commit prostitution. Adjudication was withheld in that case also, and he was ordered to pay $181 in court costs, records show.

Most recently, in March, he faced a misdemeanor domestic violence battery charge. Records show the charge was dropped.

In July, a lender won a nearly $69,000 foreclosure case over Molina's house, records show. The home was scheduled for auction if the judgment wasn't paid.

News researcher Natalie Watson and staff writer Caitlin Johnston contributed to this report.

Neighborhood argument in Tampa culminates in double killing 10/20/13 [Last modified: Sunday, October 20, 2013 11:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bill Clinton coming to Miami Beach on Saturday for mayors' convention


    From our friends at the Miami Herald:

    Former President Bill Clinton gives the opening address to kick off a meeting of International Aid Groups at the InterAction Forum 2017 at the Washington Convention Center on June 20.
  2. Obama's secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin's election assault


    WASHINGTON — Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried "eyes only" instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and Barack Obama shake hands at the COP21 UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris, France, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. [Mikhail Klimentyev | Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP]
  3. GOP's challenge: Finding votes for Senate health care bill (w/video)


    WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has finally unwrapped his plan for dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law. Now comes his next challenge — persuading enough Republicans to back the measure and avert a defeat that could be shattering for President Donald Trump and the GOP.

    Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks to reporters at the Capitol after Republicans released their long-awaited bill to scuttle much of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 22, 2017. He is one of four GOP senators to say they are opposed it but are open to negotiations, which could put the measure in immediate jeopardy. [Associated Press]
  4. Trigaux: Halfway through 2017, a closer look at six drivers of the Tampa Bay economy


    We're nearly halfway through 2017 already, a perfect time to step back from the daily grind of business and ask: How's Tampa Bay's economy doing?

    Is there one theme or idea that captures the Tampa Bay brand? Not really but here's one possibility. The fun-loving annual Gasparilla "Invasion" of Tampa is captured in this photo of 
The Jose Gasparilla loaded with pirates of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla on its way this past January to the Tampa Convention Center. In the future a vibrant downtown Tampa or St. Petersburg may be the better theme. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  5. Harmeling first woman to receive lifetime honor at Sneaker Soiree in Tampa

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — For the last quarter-century, she has combined passion and meticulousness to keep the Gasparilla Distance Classic humming and evolving. Indefatigable and detailed, Susan Harmeling braces for every race-weekend contingency.

    Susan Harmeling gives a speech after accepting an award  during the annual Sneaker Soiree, at TPepin's Hospitality Centre, Thursday, June 22, 2017.