Published On: Mon, Feb 22nd, 2016

Ismael Ortiz arrested for Florida shooting murder of Rafael Salvi during drug deal

Police have arrested a Tampa, saying that he opened fire during a drug deal in a hotel parking lot, killing one man and injuring another.

Ismael Ortiz of Tampa, 28, now faces a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Rafael Salvi, 25. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Ortiz also shot and wounded Leonard Denis, 26.


Officials said Salvi, Denis and two other friends drove to meet an unknown man Sunday in the parking lot of the Suburban Lodge to buy marijuana and the sedative Xanax. A witness saw Salvi and the three others park and wait until a white SUV pulled in.

The witness told officials that Denis got out of the car, walked up to the SUV and exchanged money for the drugs. The SUV pulled out of the lot but soon returned and blocked in the other vehicle.

The SUV’s window opened and a man inside began shooting from a chrome gun.

TampaBay.com details more: “The car carrying Denis and Salvi sped off but two of the shots hit them. Salvi was shot in the back and died. Denis was wounded but survived…The witness told officials the same person they’d purchased drugs from was the one who shot them. Another witness gave investigators a phone number for the man he said shot Denis and Salvi. The witness knew the man only by his nickname, “Twink.”

“The witness had text messages in his phone that showed the planning of the transaction and insults sent to each other after the shooting. Detectives discovered that the phone number used to send the messages was associated with Ismael Ortiz. They also learned Ortiz owned a 2008 Nissan Armada that matched the description of the SUV used in the shooting.”

Deputies say a witness identified Ortiz as the man seen shooting at Denis and Salvi, deputies said.

Ortiz was arrested at his home at in Tampa and charged with second degree murder with a firearm and aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm.

Photo/Minnesota Historical Society via wikimedia commons

Photo/Minnesota Historical Society via wikimedia commons

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About the Author

- Sierra is a copy writer for The Dispatch, focusing primarily on pop culture and stories linked to the latest Christian headlines, both in the U.S. and overseas.


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