DEBARY, Fla. — A 40-year-old man was fatally shot by his childhood friend Sunday in a DeBary storage unit, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies said Julio Rivera, 48, who was living in the storage unit, shot Roberto Miguel Ovalle, of Deltona, in the unit on Highbanks Road at about 7:15 p.m.
Rivera, who had an active warrant for a parole violation related to a previous murder conviction in New York, was charged with first-degree murder.
Deputies said Ovalle’s girlfriend witnessed the shooting. She told investigators that Rivera shot her boyfriend in the head while the three of them were sitting in the unit.
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The woman told deputies Rivera followed her to her car when she tried to flee and told her he would protect her and her children.
Deputies said Rivera then went back to the storage unit, where he was arrested, and the woman ran into deputies as she was running to a friend’s house for help.
The woman told investigators that her boyfriend and Rivera were speaking Spanish to one another and that the conversation didn’t seem confrontational.
She said Rivera told Ovalle he wanted to show him his “new toy” before the shooting.
Investigators said they found a “significant” amount of marijuana stored in about 20 vacuum-sealed bags, an unknown white powder and an unknown brown substance in the storage unit.
Rivera is being held without bail at the Volusia County Jail on a charge of first-degree murder and on his open warrant out of New York.
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