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Sunday, 7 December 2008

Fransisco Rangel, 25, is suspected in the fatal shooting of Plant City resident Michael Longoria Thursday, and the wounding of a second man.


23:39 |

Fransisco Rangel, 25, is suspected in the fatal shooting of Plant City resident Michael Longoria Thursday, and the wounding of a second man.On Friday, deputies sent to arrest Rangel encountered him as he was driving, and a chase began. About 9:15 a.m., Rangel stopped near Strawberry Plaza and opened fire, killing Lagunes and getting away, according to the Sheriff's Office.
None of the deputies were injured, and after about a seven-hour hunt through residential Plant City, Rangel was caught. He is being held in the Orient Road Jail without bail.Carter confirmed that Rangel is a member of the Sur 13 gang, a Latino gang prominent in Plant City, Dover and West Tampa.Sheriff David Gee said tattoos led deputies to believe he was a gang member, and Carter said, "Everything that we've done in the investigation leads us to believe he was a Sur 13 member."
Sur is Spanish for "south." Sur 13 originated in the street gangs of Southern California. The number 13 indicates the 13th letter of the alphabet: M, short for Mexican Mafia prison organization, with which Sur 13 is affiliated.Gee announced in 2006 that the gang had a growing local influence. Its graffiti pops up on the outskirts of Plant City.The gang played a part in an attempted murder last month in Tampa. Three people identified as Sur 13 gang members attacked two men with glass bottles and a machete, shouting "Sur 13!" and "We're going to take you out!" a witness said.Investigators still aren't sure of the motive behind Thursday's shooting, which left Michael Longoria, 36, of Plant City, dead. Rangel also is suspected in the shooting of another man, who is in a hospital and will likely survive, Carter said. Deputies haven't released his name.Longoria's mother said she doesn't believe her son was a member of any gangs. Lupe Williams, 63, met Rangel recently, but she doesn't think he was a close friend of her son's. She has no idea why he would have shot Longoria, who left behind five children, ages 14, 11, 9, 7 and 3.Longoria grew up in a migrant family that worked in the fields from North Carolina to Florida until settling in Plant City in the early 1990s, Williams said. Longoria got his high school diploma, even though it was tough going to school while working, she said. "He was a hard worker," she said.Longoria has a long list of arrests, mostly drug-related, and a one-year prison stay in 2004. His mother conceded he sometimes got into trouble because "he'd hang out with some of the wrong people," but she insisted he was good at heart.
Now, her son won't pop over for dinner anymore, and she won't be able to do his laundry, which she did even though he didn't live with her. "He's my baby, so I never cared," she said.


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