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Holiday shooting in chiropractor's office was self-defense, authorities say

HOLIDAY — On Monday morning, authorities say, 33-year-old Jaime Velez put on a pair of rubber gloves and slipped a gun into his waistband. He went to a chiropractic clinic to confront the man who snitched on him.

Velez's girlfriend, who has not been named, was one of chiropractor Lenny Linardos' patients at West Coast Spine and Injury Center on U.S. 19, said Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco. Recently, Linardos told the woman that Velez was having an affair with an employee at the chiropractic office.

Velez called Linardos and threatened him, Nocco said. Linardos, 46, took the threats seriously. Nocco said Velez showed up at the clinic around 11 a.m. Monday. Once inside, he confronted Linardos, who shot Velez.

Investigators believe Linardos fired in self-defense.

Velez remained in critical but stable condition at a local hospital. He has been unable to speak to officials because of his injuries.

Linardos of Tarpon Springs was questioned Monday afternoon but not detained.

"At this point, we don't plan to arrest him or charge him with anything," said sheriff's spokeswoman Melanie Snow.

The men were listed as friends on Facebook as recently as Tuesday morning. Hours before Monday's shooting, Linardos left a comment on a photo of Velez kissing a pregnant woman's belly.

The woman refused to speak with a reporter who called Tuesday afternoon. Family members of Velez could not be reached.

Outside the clinic Tuesday afternoon, Linardos' attorney, Cimos Angelis, told reporters his client was "violently attacked" and he knew from the beginning there would be no criminal charges because Linardos was defending himself.

Linardos emerged from the clinic with a woman and drove off in a BMW without speaking.

Times researchers Caryn Baird and Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Contact Alex Orlando at aorlando@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6247.

Holiday shooting in chiropractor's office was self-defense, authorities say 02/18/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:13pm]

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