THONOTOSASSA — A company Christmas party became the scene of a fatal shooting.
Bryan Pichardo-Minaya died after he was shot Dec. 18. Now, his partner is suing ASI Landscape for damages in excess of $30,000, claiming that the company didn’t do enough to prevent the fight that led to the shooting.
A lawsuit filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court by Milibelle Alicea, 40, said there was a fight between Pichardo-Minaya and another employee, Jonathan Ventura, at a company Christmas party. In the suit, she claims it was Ventura who shot her partner at the 2020 event — though no arrest has been made, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
The two men had been at odds leading up to the party and even fought at the 2019 company Christmas party, court documents said. Alicea argues ASI Landscaping “failed to take effective action to prevent further altercations,” the complaint read. Instead, she said the company, which employs 180 people, hosted a party at its location off Harney Road and served alcohol.
Multiple phone calls to ASI Landscaping were not returned.
Alicea’s attorneys filed the suit Jan. 27. It said ASI Landscape should have known that the likelihood of physical harm to Pichardo-Minaya was “imminent.” The lawsuit also alleged the company’s failure to take action made it “virtually certain” that the 24-year-old would be injured or killed.
Deputies are still “examining ballistic evidence,” according to Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Crystal Clark. After that investigation is complete, the case will be presented to the State Attorney’s Office to determine if charges will follow, Clark said.
A Facebook profile for Pichardo-Minaya said he was born in the Dominican Republic and has a son. The day after his death, two GoFundMe accounts were created — one for his partner and another to help with family expenses.
Alicea’s Facebook page shows she was pregnant in January and that Pichardo-Minaya was the father.