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Man shot dead in Gibsonton in early morning altercation

GIBSONTON — An argument turned violent early Saturday, resulting in one man fatally shooting another, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

Ruben Rodriguez, 29, of Gibsonton, returned home around 3:30 a.m. and apparently saw Enrique Rodriguez Garcia, 36, and another man running from Rodriguez's yard at 6207 Estelle Ave., according to arrest records. Rodriguez told his girlfriend to get their gun, an AR-15 assault rifle, from inside the house and get into the car.

Rodriguez and his girlfriend followed the two men through the neighborhood and confronted them a few blocks away. Rodriguez and Garcia argued about what Garcia and the other man were doing in Rodriguez's yard, and Rodriguez ended up shooting Garcia in the upper body, killing him, officials said.

Deputies responded to the scene about an hour later and found Garcia's body in the street. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene, the Sheriff's Office said.

After the shooting, Rodriguez dropped his girlfriend off at their home and drove to a friend's house on Cliff Avenue. The friend told the Sheriff's Office that Rodriguez had shown up at his house and said he had shot someone. Deputies responded the man's house, about a mile from the shooting location, and found Rodriguez, the Sheriff's Office said.

Rodriguez told deputies he was upset about items possibly being stolen from his yard and admitted to shooting Garcia, the arrest report said.

Hillsborough County arrest records show Rodriguez had previously been charged with possession of marijuana in 2003 and driving with a suspended license in 2004. The disposition of those charges could not be determined Saturday.

Rodriguez was charged with second-degree murder and was being held without bail Saturday at the Hillsborough County jail.