Police: Tampa man kills cousin testing flak jacket

- Police say a Tampa man was fatally shot while testing a fragmentation protective vest, which is commonly referred to as a "flak jacket."

It was Saturday night when officers were called to a home on E. Gordon Street.  When they got to the home, they found Joaquin Mendez outside the house with a gunshot wound to the chest. 

Police say that the victim's 24-year-old cousin, Alexandro Garibaldi, claimed he found Mendez outside with a gunshot wound.  However, another witness told a different story.

According to TPD, the unnamed witness told officers that Mendez sat in a chair and put on the vest, wondering aloud if it would stop a bullet. According to the witness, that's when Garibaldi said, "Let's see," and then shot at the vest worn by Mendez. 

Police later found the vest inside the house -- with a bullet hole. 

Mendez was taken to a hospital, where he later died of his injuries.

Editor's note: Tampa police initially described the vest as a "bulletproof" vest, but have since stated that it was actually a flak jacket. This version of the story has been updated.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Police: Tampa man kills cousin testing flak jacket
  • Deputies: Women held in storage unit for prostution
  • Uber driver shoots passenger in self-defense, deputies say
  • Student hit, killed after getting off bus in Tampa
  • Troopers: Drivers to blame for I-4 being country's deadliest
  • Group scours streets for clues in Seminole Heights killings
  • Airman surprises sister before soccer game
  • Deputies: Woman intercepted $1,600 iPhone delivery
  • Accomplished Eagle Scout diagnosed with cancer
  • Boy killed after getting off school bus remembered by family