TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida man is accused of fatally shooting his neighbor after a dispute over a fence that separated their properties, authorities said.
Nathan Espinal, 37, of Tampa, was charged with first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with Monday evening’s shooting of Mark Anthony White, 45, of Tampa, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
According to the Tampa Police Department, Espinal called 911 at about 5:45 p.m. and said he shot White, his next-door neighbor, WFLA reported.
When police arrived, they found White lying in his front yard, about 50 feet from the fenced property line that separates the men’s residences, the Times reported. According to police, Espinal said he and White had been having an ongoing dispute and that his neighbor had shot at his fence, the newspaper reported.
Espinal told police he warned his neighbor not to shoot his fence, but White responded by cursing and making an obscene gesture with his two middle fingers, WFLA reported.
According to police, Espinal said he “lost it” and shot White several times, the Times reported. Espinal said he then walked back into his home, put the gun into a case, called 911 and waited for police to arrive, according to the newspaper.
White’s aunt, Beverly Barnes, has lived with her nephew since her husband died.
“He was kind and caring and has been my nephew for 45 years and I just thought the world of him,” Barnes told WFLA. “I just thought the world of him and I’m just not comprehending this well at all.”
White’s girlfriend of 12 years, Deana Owens, called the shooting “senseless.”
“So what does this senseless shooting accomplish? His kids lost their dad, we lost Mark, so we all lost,” Owens told WFLA. “What does it accomplish?”