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Reward offered in Ruskin shooting that kills two brothers, injures four

RUSKIN — A green mini-van pulled up around 2:30 a.m. in front of a small white house where several people were sitting on the porch.

The bloodshed that happened next set into motion a manhunt for a killer who remained on the loose Thursday night.

Here's what witnesses told sheriff's deputies when they arrived at the grim scene at 604 Ocean Mist Court:

A man wearing a black T-shirt with the logo "Sheriff" on the front and the word "Security" on the back got out of the van and asked for someone by name. But the person he wanted wasn't there.

Hearing that, the man pulled out a .45-caliber pistol and opened fire, shooting over and over into the crowd on the porch. Then he got back into the van and drove off into the darkness.

Deputies found one man dead and another dying, brothers Sergio Guitran, 22, and Juan Guitran, 28, both of 720 Johnson Drive. Sergio was dead. Juan survived briefly, dying in Tampa General Hospital.

Authorities discovered four more wounded people who had scattered to various locations in the neighborhood. Daniel Beltran, 24, and Ramon Galan, 29, who had upper-body gunshot wounds; Richard Cantu, 31, who was shot in the head; and Gonzalo Guevara, 28, who was shot in the wrist, were being treated at area hospitals, None of the dead or injured lived at the Ocean Mist house, according to officials.

The gunman was described as a white male in his 30s or 40s with short, dark brown or black bushy hair.

Sheriff's spokesman Larry McKinnon said investigators are trying to determine what role, if any, the shirt with the words "Sheriff" and "Security" played. The shirt appeared to be the sort sold to the public with generic law enforcement markings.

"It's always discouraging when people commit crimes wearing this type of clothing because then it causes skepticism when a real law enforcement officer shows up at a scene," McKinnon said.

No motive has been offered by deputies, but they said the shooting doesn't appear to be random.

Juan Hernandez, 23, who grew up down the street, had known the Guitran brothers since elementary school. "They were nice people, good men. They didn't deserve this," he said.

Their mother, Pasquala Quezada, 50, said through a translator that she is heartbroken.

Sergio Guitran worked at a nearby company that manufactured hospital equipment, Hernandez said, and Juan Guitran worked at Badcock Home Furniture & More. State records do not show arrests for either of the men.

Hernandez said the brothers worked long hours and stayed out of trouble. They lived with their mother, a widow who works at the Redlands Christian Migrant Association's day care.

Her husband died a few years ago, said family friend Ruby Reza. "Now she has nobody," Reza said.

Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a $1,000 reward for a tip that leads to the gunman's identification and arrest. Anyone with any information about the crime can call the Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477). They can also report anonymously online at www.crimestopperstb.com or text "CSTB plus your tip" to 274637 (CRIMES).

News researcher Shirl Kennedy and staff writer Luis Perez contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at (813) 226-3433 or jvandervelde@sptimes.com.

Reward offered in Ruskin shooting that kills two brothers, injures four 11/25/10 [Last modified: Thursday, November 25, 2010 10:55pm]
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