TAMPA (WFLA) — A Tampa man said he “lost it” when he shot and killed his neighbor who had allegedly been shooting at his fence Monday.
The Tampa Police Department said 37-year-old Nelson Espinal, who lives on N. Central Avenue, called 911 Monday and said he shot and killed his neighbor 45-year-old Mark Anthony White.
Espinal told detectives about an ongoing dispute with White about him shooting at his fence. Espinal said it happened again Monday, so he went into his house, got his gun, and confronted White, and expressed his concern for his children at his home.
Espinal said White held up two middle fingers and said, “I don’t give a f***.”
That’s when Espinal said he “lost it” and shot White multiple times. He said he then walked back into his house, called 911, and went outside to wait for police.
Beverly Barnes still can’t believe her nephew Mark is gone. He lived with her ever since her husband passed.
“He was kind and caring and has been my nephew for 45 years and I just thought the world of him. I just thought the world of him and I’m just not comprehending this well at all,” Barnes said.
White was found lying in his front yard about 50 feet from the fenced property line when officers arrived.
White’s girlfriend of 12 years Deana Owens showed 8 On Your Side the fence. She says White liked to shoot paintballs at his own fence but they never penetrated his fence damaging Espinal’s property. She calls the murder senseless.
“So what does this senseless shooting accomplish? His kids lost their dad, we lost Mark, so we all lost. What does it accomplish?” Owens said.
There’s now a makeshift shrine in Barnes’ front yard where her nephew breathed his last breath. She hopes now that the accused gunman is behind bars and gets help.
“He needs rehabilitation. Or mental help, because he’s seriously not right, mentally in the head, normal people don’t do that,” Barnes said.
Espinal is charged with first degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon.