Advertisement
  1. News

Two arrested in connection with July fatal shooting at South Tampa McDonald's

Marquez Davon Roberts, 19, left, and Dontae Lamar Hopkins, 17, have separately turned themselves into police in connection with the July 20, 2018, shooting death of Nicholas Mortazavi outside a South Tampa McDonald's restaurant.
Published Dec. 11, 2018

TAMPA — Police have made two arrests in connection with the shooting death of 20-year-old Nicholas Mortazavi at a South Tampa McDonald's on July 20, the result of what police said was a drug deal gone bad.

Police arrested Marquez Davon Roberts, 19, Saturday after he turned himself in on charges of first degree felony murder, carrying a concealed firearm and uttering a counterfeit instrument, according to jail records. His arrest came days after 17-year-old Dontae Lamar Hopkins, a standout football player at Hillsborough High School, turned himself in to police on Dec. 6 on a charge of third-degree murder involving possession of a firearm.

Hopkins was released from county jail Dec. 7 on a $100,000 surety bond, jail records show. Roberts was still behind bars Monday afternoon with bail set at $104,000.

In a statement released Monday, Tampa Police spokesman Steve Hegarty said investigators believe Roberts and Hopkins planned to purchase marijuana from Mortazavi the night he was killed.

Roberts and several middle-men had arranged to purchase a quarter pound of marijuana from Mortazavi at about 7:45 p.m. at the McDonald's at 3515 S. Dale Mabry Highway, just south of El Prado Boulevard, Det. Stephanie Puleo wrote in Hopkins' arrest report.

Roberts picked up four passengers, including Hopkins, then drove his Dodge Charger to the restaurant's parking lot alongside Mortazavi's vehicle, where he was waiting with three passengers.

Roberts left his vehicle and sat in the back seat of Mortazavi's car to conduct the drug deal, police said. It wasn't until after Roberts returned to his car with the quarter pound of marijuana that Mortazavi realized he had been paid with counterfeit currency, police said.

As an argument escalated, both Roberts and Mortazavi got out of their cars and stood between the two vehicles. Mortazavi attempted to grab the marijuana away from Roberts, and Roberts then pulled a Glock .40 handgun from his right front-pants pocket, pointing it at the victim, police said.

Hopkins, who had watched the altercation from the back seat of Roberts' vehicle, opened the car door armed with a Springfield .40 caliber handgun when he thought he saw Mortazavi reach into his pants, police said. Five witnesses told police they saw Mortazavi fall to the ground after he was shot once in the chest, but offered conflicting statements on whether Roberts or Hopkins pulled the trigger.

Both Hopkins and Roberts blamed the other for firing the fatal shot.

Investigators believe it was Roberts who ultimately shot Mortazavi, leaving him seriously wounded in the parking lot. First responders transported Mortazavi to Tampa General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead early the next morning.

On Dec. 6, a grand jury indicted both Roberts and Hopkins for their roles in Mortazavi's death.

According to his obituary, Mortazavi was a recent graduate of Plant High School who was attending college in St. Petersburg with plans to attend Santa Fe College in Gainesville. He is survived by his parents, Dr. Ali Mortazavi and Lynn Gutierrez-Mortazavi of Tampa, and his three sisters, Kelly and Caroline Mortazavi of San Francisco and Dr. Elizabeth Mortazavi of Tampa.

This is a developing story. Stay with www.tampabay.com for updates.

Contact Anastasia Dawson at adawson@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3377. Follow @adawsonwrites.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. James Rybicki, 63, faces charges of lewd and lascivious molestation and possession of child pornography. But he could go free after a judge found that Pinellas sheriff’s detectives and Pinellas-Pasco prosecutors lied to obtain a search warrant in his case. Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
    A Pinellas sheriff’s detective and Pinellas-Pasco prosecutors “made false statements” to obtain a search warrant, a judge has ruled. The evidence was thrown out.
  2. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., left, with Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif, the ranking member, concludes a day of testimony by key witnesses as it probes President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE  |  AP
    The United States ambassador to the European Union told the impeachment inquiry his efforts to press Ukraine to announce investigations were ordered by President Trump, and top officials knew.
  3. The woman was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a motor vehicle and culpable negligence.
  4. Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Pamela Campbell during a hearing to review the guardianship cases once overseen by Traci Hudson, who faces criminal charges in one of those cases. Hudson was not present during Wednesday's hearing in a St. Petersburg courtroom. Pinellas sheriff's detectives say she stole more than $500,000 from an elderly man for whom she held power of attorney. Court records show she was appointed as a guardian in about two dozen cases. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Traci Hudson had served as guardian overseeing the affairs of 26 people until her arrest on a charge of exploitation of the elderly. Her handling of those cases will be reviewed.
  5. Robert "Bobby" Mavis, 40, top left, is shown in this family photo with his wife Elizabeth and their children, from left, Evan, Kendall and Kyle. The father of three died in the Nov. 13 chain-reaction crash on northbound Interstate 75 in Hillsborough County. Courtesy Elizabeth Mavis
    Robert “Bobby” Mavis, 40, was on his way home from work last week when a semi-trailer truck crashed into his Mercedes.
  6. Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority bus driver Rekira Owens is seen at the wheel behind a newly installed shield as they board the bus on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Tampa.  The clear divider is meant to protect drivers from physical assaults after a driver was killed earlier this year. A bus driver on Tuesday was operating a vehicle without a shield when he was attacked by a rider. CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times
    About 75 buses still need the clear, plastic doors. The transit authority plans to install eight a day.
  7. Bins filled with products move on conveyor belts at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Ruskin. Amazon just announced it will open a similar center in Auburndale, Fla. (Times | 2018) Tampa Bay Times
    The new center will span more than 1 million square feet and be No. 11 in the state.
  8. Vacant land along Manhattan Avenue at the north end of MacDill Air Force base may the site of the forgotten Port Tampa Cemetery. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    The property was a burial ground for people who lived in the old city of Port Tampa.
  9. An overlay map showing where Ridgewood Cemetery is located on the King High School campus. The red outline indicates the boundary of the cemetery and the pink boxes the graves. GeoView
    Ridgewood Cemetery, a pauper’s burial ground from the mid-20th century, was sold to the school district as part of the property where King was later built.
  10. Ashley Laquita Moore, 34, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and culpable negligence after intentionally running into a bus. Hillsborough County Sherriff's Office
    Ashley Laquita Moore faces charges of aggravated assault with a motor vehicle and culpable negligence.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement