Man kills wife, self at tag agency - woman had taken out a restraining order

Man kills wife, self at tag agency
Woman had taken out a restraining order.
By Ihosvani Rodriguez
Miami Bureau

April 7, 2005

North Miami Beach An Opa-locka man shot and killed his wife on Wednesday in the bathroom of a busy auto tag agency where she worked, sending customers running out the door and employees diving under their desks, witnesses and police said.

Fearful that a gunman was shooting hostages inside the building, police immediately summoned a SWAT team.

The husband, who employees said had been stalking the wife in recent weeks, fatally shot himself moments after he killed the 36-year-old mother of four, police said. Detectives were still trying to notify family members late Wednesday and did not release the names of the couple.

But Daniel Pou, who owns the Aventura Tag Agency, identified the dead as Gustavo and Yndhira Velastegui. The names match those on a restraining order Yndhira Velastegui obtained in February to keep Gustavo Velastegui away, according to court records.

Co-workers said Yndhira Velastegui, who had been with the company for five years, had endured violent confrontations with her 42-year-old husband since they separated five months ago. Court records show the couple obtained a marriage license in 1986 when she was 17 and he was 23.

On Wednesday, the agency's manager, Mary Pou, said she heard Velastegui arguing with her husband over the phone and then running into the bathroom. Moments later, Pou said, Gustavo Velastegui stormed into the office with a gun.

"He looked like a monster movie," Pou said. "He was white as that van over there and came in screaming, `Where is she?'"

Gustavo Velastegui fired his gun once, Pou said, and asked again for his wife. Pou said she hid behind her desk and used her cell phone to call 911, but no one answered. She used the office phone to call again, and held both phones to each ear before an operator finally came on.

Then, she said, Gustavo Velastegui leaped over the front counter and ran toward the bathroom. Pou said she heard him kicking down the bathroom door and then heard a female scream, followed by three shots.

"There was a brief silence, and then one final shot," Pou said.

There were at least four customers and nine employees inside the agency, including a pregnant woman who hid under her desk and caused her computer to fall on top of her, workers there said. Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue personnel treated the woman at the scene.

Henry Cuarto said he was dropping off his dog at the nearby Doggy Day Spa when he noticed a large group of people running out the tag agency's door.

"A lady was yelling, `Call 911! Call 911!' And I could hear `pow, pow, pow' in the background," Cuarto said. "For that brief moment I just froze."

Pou said she thinks a surveillance camera inside the business recorded the entire incident.

Rescue workers briefly treated a woman employees identified as Yndhira Velastegui's mother. The grief-stricken woman arrived hours later and nearly collapsed in anguish.

"My little girl! Oh my God! My little girl!" she wailed in Spanish.

Betty Reyes, who said she is a friend of Yndhira Velastegui, said Velastegui persuaded a judge to issue a restraining order after her husband began stalking and beating her. Court records show a restraining order was issued on Feb. 15 against Gustavo Velastegui.

Ihosvani Rodriguez can be reached at ijrodriguez@sun-sentinel.com or 305-810-5005.


Copyright 2005, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

 

 


 

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[caepv] Digest Number 361

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Date:

12 Apr 2005 15:32:10 -0000

 

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There is 1 message in this issue.
 
Topics in this digest:
 
 1. Man kills wife, self at tag agency - woman had taken out a restraining order
 From: "Kim Wells" <kwells@caepv.org>
 
 
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
 
Message: 1 
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2005 08:17:48 -0500
 From: "Kim Wells" <kwells@caepv.org>
Subject: Man kills wife, self at tag agency - woman had taken out a restraining order
 
Man kills wife, self at tag agency
Woman had taken out a restraining order.
By Ihosvani Rodriguez
Miami Bureau
 
April 7, 2005
 
North Miami Beach  An Opa-locka man shot and killed his wife on Wednesday in the bathroom of a busy auto tag agency where she worked, sending customers running out the door and employees diving under their desks, witnesses and police said.
 
Fearful that a gunman was shooting hostages inside the building, police immediately summoned a SWAT team.
 
The husband, who employees said had been stalking the wife in recent weeks, fatally shot himself moments after he killed the 36-year-old mother of four, police said. Detectives were still trying to notify family members late Wednesday and did not release the names of the couple. 
 
But Daniel Pou, who owns the Aventura Tag Agency, identified the dead as Gustavo and Yndhira Velastegui. The names match those on a restraining order Yndhira Velastegui obtained in February to keep Gustavo Velastegui away, according to court records.
 
Co-workers said Yndhira Velastegui, who had been with the company for five years, had endured violent confrontations with her 42-year-old husband since they separated five months ago. Court records show the couple obtained a marriage license in 1986 when she was 17 and he was 23. 
 
On Wednesday, the agency's manager, Mary Pou, said she heard Velastegui arguing with her husband over the phone and then running into the bathroom. Moments later, Pou said, Gustavo Velastegui stormed into the office with a gun.
 
"He looked like a monster movie," Pou said. "He was white as that van over there and came in screaming, `Where is she?'" 
 
Gustavo Velastegui fired his gun once, Pou said, and asked again for his wife. Pou said she hid behind her desk and used her cell phone to call 911, but no one answered. She used the office phone to call again, and held both phones to each ear before an operator finally came on. 
 
Then, she said, Gustavo Velastegui leaped over the front counter and ran toward the bathroom. Pou said she heard him kicking down the bathroom door and then heard a female scream, followed by three shots. 
 
"There was a brief silence, and then one final shot," Pou said. 
 
There were at least four customers and nine employees inside the agency, including a pregnant woman who hid under her desk and caused her computer to fall on top of her, workers there said. Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue personnel treated the woman at the scene. 
 
Henry Cuarto said he was dropping off his dog at the nearby Doggy Day Spa when he noticed a large group of people running out the tag agency's door. 
 
"A lady was yelling, `Call 911! Call 911!' And I could hear `pow, pow, pow' in the background," Cuarto said. "For that brief moment I just froze." 
 
Pou said she thinks a surveillance camera inside the business recorded the entire incident. 
 
Rescue workers briefly treated a woman employees identified as Yndhira Velastegui's mother. The grief-stricken woman arrived hours later and nearly collapsed in anguish. 
 
"My little girl! Oh my God! My little girl!" she wailed in Spanish. 
 
Betty Reyes, who said she is a friend of Yndhira Velastegui, said Velastegui persuaded a judge to issue a restraining order after her husband began stalking and beating her. Court records show a restraining order was issued on Feb. 15 against Gustavo Velastegui. 
 
Ihosvani Rodriguez can be reached at ijrodriguez@sun-sentinel.com or 305-810-5005.
 
 
Copyright  2005, South Florida Sun-Sentinel 
 
 
 
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