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A man breaks in and tries to shoot his estranged wife, but the gun won't fire, authorities say.
Published May 21, 2013

Authorities have charged a Town 'N Country man with attempted murder, saying he broke into the house of his estranged wife Saturday and tried to shoot her in the chest.

Julio Villanueva-Vasquez, 44, arrived at the house at about 1:30 a.m. and punctured the tires of a friend who was visiting his wife at 6720 Preston Court, deputies say.

He then broke into the house and fought with his wife, Katherinez Villanueva, 23, before pulling a handgun from his waist band.

He pointed the gun at her chest and fired, but nothing happened, deputies say.

He racked the slide twice and fired twice more, but the gun continued to malfunction, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Villanueva-Vasquez then ran away.

Katherinez Villanueva suffered a cut to her face but otherwise was unharmed, deputies say. She identified her husband as the attacker, and authorities soon determined that she had an injunction against Villanueva-Vasquez that he had violated.

Authorities soon found him at his house, at 10202 Westbranch Court, and arrested him.

Villanueva-Vasquez faces charges of attempted felony murder, burglary of dwelling with assault, violation of domestic violence injunction and criminal mischief.

He remained in jail Monday without bail.

This wasn't the first time Villanueva-Vasquez violated the injunction that his estranged wife got for protection in August, records show.

On Oct. 10, he went to her place of work to try to talk to her, deputies say. She called 911.

She told the deputy that she and Villanueva-Vasquez have a child together - a boy who is now 6. They were going through a divorce at the time, she told the deputy.

He was charged with violating a domestic injunction and pleaded not guilty.

The charges were dropped Feb. 25.

Times news researcher John Martin and staff writer Laura C. Morel contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at or (813) 226-3433.