Man fatally shoots childhood friend inside Florida storage facility

A 48-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder after Volusia County deputies say he shot and killed his childhood friend Sunday inside a DeBary storage unit.

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Deputies said Julio Rivera, who was living in the storage unit and had an active warrant for a parole violation related to a previous murder conviction in New York, shot and killed his 40-year-old friend inside the storage unit on Highbanks Road around 7:15 p.m.

Deputies said the 40-year-old's girlfriend witnessed the shooting. She told investigators that Rivera shot her boyfriend, whose name has not been released, in the head while the three of them were sitting inside the storage unit.

Deputies said Rivera and the man who was killed were childhood friends and associates.

The woman told deputies Rivera followed her to her car when she tried to flee and told her he would protect her and her children. Deputies said Rivera then went back to the storage unit, where he was apprehended, and the woman ran into deputies as she was running to a friend’s house for help. During an interview with investigators, the woman said her boyfriend and Rivera were speaking Spanish to each other and that the conversation didn’t seem confrontational.

She said that at some point, Rivera told her boyfriend he wanted to show him his “new toy," before the shooting.

Investigators said they found a "significant" amount of marijuana stored in about 20 vacuum-sealed bags, as well as an unknown white powder and an unknown brown substance inside the storage unit.

Rivera is being held on no bond at the Volusia County Jail on a charge of first-degree murder and on his open warrant out of New York.

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