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Security guard in fatal Tampa bar shooting said man pointed gun at him

Jose Dionisio Jaquez told investigators Bryann Yadiel Nieves Pena ignored commands to drop a gun and then pointed the gun at him outside the Aqua Lounge, a court document shows.
Bryann Yadiel Nieves Pena, shown with his wife Keiley Melendez Cruz and their two children in a photo displayed on a GoFundMe page created for his funeral expenses, was fatally shot by a security guard at the Aqua Lounge in Tampa on Nov. 17, 2019. [GoFundMe]
Bryann Yadiel Nieves Pena, shown with his wife Keiley Melendez Cruz and their two children in a photo displayed on a GoFundMe page created for his funeral expenses, was fatally shot by a security guard at the Aqua Lounge in Tampa on Nov. 17, 2019. [GoFundMe]
Published Nov. 25

TAMPA — The security guard who fatally shot a man outside a Tampa bar last weekend said he fired because the man pointed a gun directly at him, court records show.

Jose Dionisio Jaquez was working as a private security guard at the Aqua Lounge on Nov. 17 when he shot 25-year-old Bryann Yadiel Nieves Pena, according to a search warrant affidavit signed by a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office detective. Detectives sought the warrant to search Nieves’ BMW at the scene.

Citing an active investigation, the Sheriff’s Office has released few details in the case, including the names of the guard and the man he shot.

The warrant affidavit gives this account:

Deputies responding about 3 a.m. to a 911 call about a shooting arrived at the bar and found Nieves with a wound to his head and neck area. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he died about 4:20 a.m.

Jaquez, 30, told investigators he worked for a company called ISR Security and was assigned to provide security services for the lounge for the night of Nov. 16 and early morning hours of Nov. 17. Jaquez said he was trying to break up a fight in the parking lot with pepper spray and a pepper grenade when he saw Nieves armed with a gun.

At first, Jaquez said, Nieves was holding the gun at his side in his right hand. Jaquez told detectives he gave Nieves numerous commands to drop the gun.

Instead, Jaquez said, Nieves raised the gun and pointed it directly at him.

“Jose, fearing for his life, fired his firearm, striking (Nieves),” the affidavit states.

A witness told investigators that she saw Nieves go to his BMW during the altercation and return with a gun.

His wife, Keiley Melendez Cruz, told detectives the couple arrived to the club together that night.

Jaquez declined to comment when reached by phone Monday. State records show a Jose D. Jaquez is licensed to work as an armed security guard in Florida.

The Tampa Bay Times was unable to locate contact information for a company called ISR Security. No one responded to a message sent to Aqua Lounge’s Facebook account.

Jackie Ramos, who asked to be identified only as a family member of Nieves, told the Times that he came to Florida from Puerto Rico about six years ago and worked as a construction foreman. He and his wife have a son who is about three and a one-year-daughter, Ramos said.

“He was a good man, a hard-working man," Ramos said. “Very family-oriented.”


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