TAMPA — A 14-year-old boy was struck and killed by a car at a Carrollwood apartment complex on Feb. 7. Now an arrest warrant reveals the chaotic circumstances that led to his death on Super Bowl Sunday:
A dispute between Bucs and Chief fans prompted a brawl that led a man to shoot a woman in the head while she was in the driver’s seat of a Lexus, the warrant says, causing her to lose control of her car and run the boy over.
Jose Ortiz, 29, was arrested at his Tampa home Monday on charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder, manslaughter and several other felony charges, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Ortiz was identified in part by the white Bucs jersey he was wearing, deputies say. The woman he shot was also wearing a Bucs jersey. But they were on opposite ends of the dispute that unfolded at The Place at Carrollwood apartments at 4949 Marbrisa Dr.
The name of the 14-year-old was redacted from the arrest arrant.
It started earlier that evening when 22-year-old Carmen Montero delivered a pizza there while wearing her Bucs jersey. She encountered two women in Chiefs jerseys smoking in the breezeway. “A verbal altercation ensued between the parties over the affiliated teams,” the warrant said.
Montero recognized one of the women as an “acquaintance” of her sister. Montero returned to the complex with her sister and two others. They knocked on the apartment door. Inside were six people, including Ortiz and the 14-year-old.
They argued, and then deputies said it turned into “hand-to-hand combat” involving a tire iron. Blood was spilled in the breezeway, stairs and sidewalk. Plastic fingernails were later found in the parking lot, an indication of the intensity of the fight.
During the fight, witnesses said Ortiz went to his car and retrieved a gun, according to the warrant, and struck another man in the face with it.
The fight ended, Montero got into her car, started the engine was was about to leave, the warrant said. Ortiz approached the driver’s side window and fired one gunshot at her, the warrant said, which was witnessed by several people in the parking lot.
“I just shot her,” Ortiz said, according to a witness. “She is f--king dead.”
Then her car’s wheels started spinning and burning rubber in a burnout, witnesses told deputies. Montero had been struck below her left ear by a .40-caliber bullet and was “in and out of consciousness,” the warrant said.
Montero’s car moved forward and ran over the 14-year-old, the warrant said, pinning him underneath while the tires continued to burn rubber. The 14-year-old was part of Ortiz’s group, according to the warrant. The cause of death was traumatic asphyxiation.
The call to 911 came in at 11:23 p.m. When deputies arrived, someone had backed up Montero’s car and taken her to the Citrus Park Emergency Room on Sheldon Road.
Ortiz left the apartment complex before deputies arrived and hired a lawyer, the warrant said. Witnesses picked his photo out of a lineup of photos, the warrant said, and recognized him from an Instagram photo he posted that night while wearing his white Bucs jersey.
He faces a murder charge because his actions caused Montero to run over the boy, according to sheriff’s detectives. He also has prior felony convictions.
Montero was taken to the intensive care unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital and surgeons removed the bullet on March 2. The warrant does not say if anyone else was arrested in connection with the Feb. 7 melee, or if deputies found the .40-caliber handgun.
Ortiz, who also faces charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, shooting into a vehicle, being a felon in possession of a firearm and violating his probation on a 2018 cocaine trafficking charge, is being held without bail in the Hillsborough County jail.