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
  • Helping America's heroes, one step at a time
  • Rape suspect arrested in two St. Petersburg cold cases
  • Polk detectives look for lotto ticket scammers
  • Tampa police search for skimmer suspect
  • Clearwater police seek help finding missing teen
  • Smart meters could slow power restoration in Lakeland
  • Rescheduled Snooty memorial to be held Sunday
  • Hernando bank robbery suspect dies after deputies fire shots
  • Man dies, girl injured when Jetski collides with boat in Clearwater