Two Pasco County Men Among Trio Arrested For 2021 Tampa Car Burglary, Murder

TAMPA, Fla.- Three men have been arrested in a 2021 Tampa shooting homicide, with two of the men being from Pasco County, the third from Tampa.

According to police, on 9/10/2021, officers responded to a report of shots heard in the area of the 2900 block of N. 17th St.

Upon arrival they found the victim, an adult male, suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. The victim was transported to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

After developing leads, Tampa Police Homicide Detectives established probable cause to arrest Gavin Wolden, 25 of Wesley Chapel, Benjamin Smiley, 24 of Zephyrhills, and Israel Montanez, 23 of Tampa, for Burglary of a Conveyance with the Intent to Commit a Battery and Felony Murder in the 1st Degree. 

Three men have been arrested in a 2021 Tampa shooting homicide. Two of the men are from Pasco County, the third from Tampa.
Israel Montanez, 23 of Tampa, Gavin Wolden, 25 of Wesley Chapel, and Benjamin Smiley, 24 of Zephyrhills

At the time of arrest, Gavin Wolden, 25, was already in prison on other charges; he has additionally been charged with Tampering with Physical Evidence.

Through investigation, it was learned that the defendants and the victim all knew each other, and this was not a random act.  The three defendants arrested began physically assaulting the victim, who was in his vehicle at the time. 

This escalated to shots being fired and the victim being killed. The victim’s name is protected under Marcy’s Law.

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