Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Friends mourn 21-year-old Town 'N Country man killed in shooting

Daniel Crespo was shot to death Wednesday in Town ‘N Country. He was 21.

Daniel Crespo was shot to death Wednesday in Town ‘N Country. He was 21.

TAMPA — Twenty-one-year-old Daniel Crespo didn't know the man yelling at him and his friends Wednesday evening as the group chatted outside a Town 'N Country home.

Israel Sanchez, 49, seemed drunk and angry, several friends remember. He wanted to start a fight, they say.

The group of about eight didn't know Sanchez had a gun tucked into his waistband.

Without warning, he pulled it out and shot Crespo in the chest, said Vanessa Gonzalez, 30, and Alex Tierney, 17. Then he threatened the others.

Deputies detained Sanchez for questioning Wednesday but as of Thursday night, they had not charged him with a crime.

Gonzalez, who was engaged to Crespo, and Tierney, a friend, say they believe Sanchez may be concocting a story of self-defense.

That would be untrue, they said. No one had threatened the man, they say.

"The look in (Sanchez's) eyes when he shot him was like he didn't even care," Tierney said. "He had the evilest look in his eyes."

Sanchez dated Tierney's mother, the young man said Thursday.

He would often carry a gun and threaten friends at Tierney's house. Usually, the gun would be visible on the often-shirtless Sanchez. On Wednesday, he wore a shirt. No one knew he was armed, Tierney said, until he pulled the gun.

Records show Sanchez was arrested twice in the '90s on charges including aggravated battery, battery and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer.

Deputies initially said Wednesday's shooting stemmed from an ongoing fight, but if it did, it didn't involve Crespo, friends say. Crespo had never met Sanchez before, both Gonzalez and Tierney said.

Gonzalez called 911 after the shooting and held her fiancee as he died.

They had dated about three years and were planning their future together. She has children but can't have any more.

She says Crespo was fine with that and had become a father figure to her 6-year-old son.

The pair would go jogging together, and sometimes Crespo would teach the little boy how to box.

"He was quiet, calm, cool, just mellow all the time," Tierney said. "He was the best one out of all of us."

Times news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3433.

Friends mourn 21-year-old Town 'N Country man killed in shooting 10/24/13 [Last modified: Thursday, October 24, 2013 11:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Early morning fire breaks out at Clearwater Beach motel

    Fire

    Clearwater Fire and Rescue is at the scene of an early morning fire that broke out at a motel on Clearwater Beach.

  2. Florida education news: Free speech, Schools of Hope, student voices and more

    Blogs

    FREE SPEECH: The University of Florida reluctantly hosts white nationalist activist Richard Spencer for a rally officials are encouraging students to ignore. Campus president Kent Fuchs, who tried to prevent the activity from taking place, Troopers prepare for Richard Spencer's speech at the University of Florida. Gov. Rick Scott has declared a State of Emergency for Alachua County ahead of the event.

  3. How old is too old to go trick-or-treating on Halloween?

    Human Interest

    Brandi Eatman guesses the boy was at least 15 years old.

     Costume accessories at House of Make Believe at 1055 N Hercules Ave. in Clearwater. [CHERIE DIEZ | Times]
  4. Report: West Pasco channel dredges could cost up to $13.5 million

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — The cost of dredging a dozen coastal canals serving seven west Pasco communities could reach nearly $13.5 million, according to a consultant's report.

    WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times
 A consultant recommends that Pasco County consider a dozen canal dredging projects in west Pasco's coastal communities at a cost that could reach nearly $13.5 million. [WILL VRAGOVIC, Times 2011]
  5. Records show Hernando Beach fire chiefs defrauded taxpayers of thousands

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE — The three former chiefs of the defunct Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department, arrested in September, are collectively accused of defrauding the taxpayers of Hernando Beach, Aripeka and Forest Glenn of tens of thousands of dollars.

    David Freda, a former Hernando Beach fire chief, has been charged with organized fraud. He recently was fired as Brooksville’s fire chief.