NEWS RELEASE #: 16-097
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested a convicted felon and is still searching for the other suspect involved in a Sunday morning shooting in Sarasota.
At approximately 1:15 a.m., deputies responded to the 4600 block of Tri Par Drive where witnesses described the suspects as two Hispanic males in a burgundy pickup truck. According to reports, one of the men entered the truck and handed a black handgun to the other suspect who subsequently fired several shots at two victims but injured neither. Detectives responded and executed a search warrant on a burgundy pickup truck in the parking lot registered to Fransisco Esquivel, DOB 11/16/93. Two shell casings and a round of live ammunition were located in the vehicle. During a photo lineup, witnesses identified Miguel Rodriguez, DOB 09/14/93, of Sarasota, as the suspect who fired the weapon and fled in a black pickup truck.
Tuesday evening while detectives were at the scene of the crime, they saw Esquivel exit an apartment carrying a rolled-up hand towel. Esquivel quickly entered a vehicle and fled the neighborhood. When a traffic stop was initiated, deputies discovered three loaded firearms wrapped inside the hand towel, hidden under his seat. Ammunition in one of the weapons matched the shell casings used in the shooting on Sunday. Esquivel was taken into custody and transported to the Sarasota County Jail.
Detectives charged Esquivel with four counts of Possession of a Firearm or Ammunition by a Convicted Felon, two counts of Principle to Attempted Murder and Grand Theft of a Firearm. He is currently being held without bond. Esquivel was just released from prison in December 2015 and has a history of 16 prior convictions.
Detectives believe Rodriguez was the shooter and may have fled the state. There is a warrant for his arrest for two counts of Attempted Murder. Rodriguez is described as 5'1", 160 lbs., with teardrop tattoos under each of his eyes. He may be travelling in a black F150 with license plate #266MVW. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to contact Detective Mark Lefebrve at 861-4932 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477), or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.