MULBERRY, Fla. — The owner of a Florida towing company is accused of fatally shooting a customer after an argument over an impounded vehicle escalated, authorities said.
Michael Shane Denn II, 29, of Lakeland, was charged with second-degree murder, according to Polk County Sheriff’s Office online booking records.
Denn, who is being held without bail, was charged in connection with the death of Juan Barroso, 36, WFLA reported.
According to investigators with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Barroso went to Strapped Transport Towing and Recovery on Monday night to get his vehicle, which had been impounded over the weekend, the television station reported.
Barroso’s vehicle did not have the proper decal on its vehicle, deputies said, and it was towed to the Mulberry business, WTVT reported.
At the towing shop, Barroso was told by an employee that he would have to wait until the tow truck returned to the lot for his vehicle to be pulled out of the impound lot, according to WFLA.
“The tension just started ratcheting up,” Polk County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Scott Wilder told WTVT.
Deputies said Denn, the owner of the business, arrived and asked Barroso to wait for his car off the property, WTSP reported.
According to authorities, Barroso began arguing with a man who deputies said was Denn’s brother, Marshall Denn, according to WTVT. Marshall Denn began punching Barroso, who was able to put the car he drove to the towing business into reverse.
According to the sheriff’s office, Barroso backed away but then accelerated toward the two brothers, the television station reported. Deputies said Marshall Denn was hit by the car.
When Barroso exited the vehicle and began to flee, deputies said Michael Denn fired three rounds at him, killing him, WFLA reported.
A news release from the sheriff’s office said that evidence collected at the scene suggests “the decedent exited his vehicle and was running away from the suspect, not toward the suspect, when the suspect fired his firearm at the decedent.”
Barroso and Marshall Denn were both taken to an area hospital. Barroso was pronounced dead just before 7 p.m. EDT, WFLA reported.
“If people are hot and angry and there is a threat of physical violence, call law enforcement. We’ll come and help settle things down,” Wilder told WTVT. “Don’t take the law into your own hands.”
Cox Media Group