BRADENTON -- A 27-year-old migrant worker was getting directions from a friend before he was shot and killed Saturday morning in Bradenton, according to an arrest report.
Ervin Perez left his friend’s home in a trailer park in the 700 block of 21st Street West at about 4 a.m. and had trouble finding the exit. He returned to the home to have his friend help him with directions, the report said.
The friend got into Perez’s red Ford Explorer as another friend waited on the side of the road.
A few minutes later Perez stopped the vehicle to let the passenger out.
That’s when someone in a gray Chevrolet Impala opened fire on the Explorer and shot and killed Perez, the report said.
An estimated 17 rounds sprayed from the handgun, according to Capt. Warren Merriman III of the Bradenton Police Department.
“He died right there at the scene,” Merriman added.
The victim’s friends were not injured.
Travin Martin Jr., 23, of Bradenton, and Charles Brown, 25, of Palmetto, were arrested and charged with the shooting about 9 p.m. Saturday after they ran a traffic sign in the 1300 block of 27th Street East, according to Merriman.
Brown and Martin have been charged with second-degree murder and are being held in Manatee County jail without bond.
After his arrest Brown told investigators that he and his friends were angry with Perez for his driving, the report said.
“There was absolutely no criminal activity going on between the victim and his friends,“ Merriman said in a pervious interview with the Bradenton Herald. “There was also no attempt by the suspects to go to the Explorer and rob it. It’s frightening. This was a random act. There was no motive.”
Community support played a major role in the arrests of both Martin and Brown.
Surveillance video from a nearby businesses showed the Impala making its way through the streets at the precise time that fit the shooting, Merriman said.
“They came southbound on 21st Street East and when they reached the intersection of Sixth Avenue East and 20th Street East, they opened fire,” Merriman said. “They just opened fire. They were about a block behind the Explorer, I would say 60 yards. They did not know the victim at all. Then, they left. It is scary, very scary.
“The biggest thing that stands out in this case is that residents from the community were willing to come to us with video,” Merriman added. “We have been doing community policing in our area and I think that has developed trust.”
Both Martin Jr. and Brown are convicted felons, according to Manatee County Court records.
Martin Jr. was arrested and charged with first-degree aggravated battery with a deadly weapon in 2005 and was convicted and sentenced to four years in state prison, court records show.
Martin Jr. was also arrested in January of this year for robbery with a firearm and faced life in prison, according to court records. But prosecutors dropped the case against him, according to court records.
In 2008, Brown was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and, in 2009, was sentenced to three years in state prison, according to court records.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Detective Kevin Bunch at (941) 932-9300, ext. 380.
Or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000, call Crime Stoppers (866) 634-8477 (TIPS) or send an anonymous E-Tip through the web at www.manateecrimestoppers.com.
-- Bradenton Herald report Richard Dymond contributed to this report.