A man who is believed to have been living in a DeBary, Fla., self-storage unit allegedly shot and killed his childhood friend on the property this past weekend. Julio Rivera, 48, was arrested at 333 E. Highbanks Road at 7:15 p.m. on Sunday, according to Andrew Gant, a spokesperson for the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
The victim is Roberto Miguel Ovalle, 40, a resident of Deltona, Fla. Ovalle’s girlfriend, who was sitting in the unit with both men, told police she witnessed Rivera shoot her boyfriend in the head three times. She then fled the space, but Rivera followed her to her vehicle and accompanied her to the victim’s home. He claimed he would protect her and her children, according to Gant.
“She took Rivera’s gun from him and went to gather her children. Rivera left and went back to the storage unit; the girlfriend then started running toward a friend’s home,” Gant said. “She was intercepted by responding deputies, and when Rivera arrived back at 333 E. Highbanks, he was met by deputies responding to the homicide scene.”
Police discovered 20 vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana as well as an unknown white powder and unknown brown substance in the storage unit, according to the source.
Rivera faces a charge of first-degree murder, and no bond has been set. He also had a warrant for his arrest related to a parole violation in connection with a previous murder conviction in New York. It’s believed Rivera had been living in the self-storage unit since October to evade police, Gant said.
The unnamed self-storage facility rents units to a number of small businesses, including auto and lawnmower mechanics, an upholstery shop, and a cabinet-maker, the source reported.
The Western Volusia Beacon, DeBary Man Arrested in Fatal Storage-Unit Shooting