Pasco News

Suspect in Pasco spine center shooting dies

HOLIDAY — A man who was shot at a chiropractic clinic nearly two months ago in an argument over a woman has died, apparently from the wounds he suffered that day, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday.

Jaime Velez, 34, of Tampa, had been arrested Friday morning on charges connected to the Feb. 17 confrontation at the West Coast Spine and Injury Center on U.S. 19, and bonded out later that day, the sheriff’s office reported.

He then reported to a rehabilitation center in Hillsborough County and died a short time later, the sheriff’s office reported.

His cause of death is suspected to be from his gunshot wounds, but the case remains under review by the medical examiner’s office, the sheriff’s office said.

Velez had been hospitalized at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point since the day of the shooting and had just been released from the hospital Friday when the sheriff’s office arrested him on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and felon in possession of a firearm.

The confrontation at the clinic happened after Velez said he received text messages from the chiropractor, Lenny Linardos, 46, saying that Velez’s girlfriend was at his office and they were engaged in sex acts, a sheriff’s report said.

Velez, armed with a gun and wearing rubber gloves, went to the clinic and Linardos shot him three times — in the leg, the groin and the back, the sheriff’s office reported. The sheriff’s office has said Linardos acted in self-defense.

A deputy who arrived at the scene found Velez lying on his stomach in a hallway and Velez told him about the text messages, the report said.

The deputy also said that Linardos, without being asked, told him, “This was all over a girl, all over a girl,” the report said.

Sheriff Chris Nocco said at the time that Velez had made threats to Linardos over the phone and Linardos “took these threats very seriously.”

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