Naples Manor crime scene
Shots fired in Naples Manor
NAPLES — Mario Serrano woke up Thursday morning for work, but didn’t make it more than a block from his home.
Instead, he discovered a crime scene on Fleming Street in East Naples where his younger brother, 20-year-old Elmer Serrano Lopez, laid dead in front of a Naples Manor home.
Serrano Lopez was killed and two other people were injured early Thursday morning in a shooting in Naples Manor, blocks from Parkside Elementary School. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident as a homicide.
Serrano Lopez died at the scene of the shooting, according to police reports. He was killed not far from his family’s home at 5427 Bryant Ave., where he was not living but visited frequently. His father stated that Elmer was living with a girlfriend nearby, but could not provide an address.
Detectives have recovered a handgun believed to be involved in the shooting, reports said.
Area resident John Fulkroad said he heard five shots fired quickly about 3:30 a.m. today while making a cup of coffee at his home, located near the corner of Carolina Avenue and Holland Street. Then, a moment later, Fulkroad said he heard three or four shots further down. He looked out the window, but did not see anything.
“This neighborhood is usually pretty quiet,” said Fulkroad, who has lived in Naples Manor since 1997. “It’s a good neighborhood.”
Evelia Salinas, 23, who lives on Fleming Street, said gun shots woke her up around 3 a.m.
“I thought, that was freaking loud,” Salinas said.
Then, a moment later, Salinas said she heard more gun shots, but didn’t look out the window immediately because she was afraid.
After discovering that a man had died in her neighborhood, Salinas said she didn’t feel safe.
But at this time, the Sheriff’s Office officials said they don’t have any information that would make them believe there is any threat to area residents.
Mario Serrano, 37, who lives nearby, said in Spanish that he didn’t know who had shot his brother or why.
“I feel bad... bad,” said Serrano, shaking his head, looking at the ground.
Although Serrano doesn’t know details about how his brother died, he said he wants justice for his sibling. Mario Serrano, who last saw Elmer Serrano Lopez last week, said his brother had not told him he was in any trouble.
After responding to a report of a shooting in the Holland Street area of Naples Manor at 2:13 a.m. Thursday, deputies heard additional shots fired near Fleming Street, where Serrano Lopez was found.
Shortly after the shooting was reported, an injured man walked into the 7-Eleven store at Rattlesnake Hammock Road and U.S. 41 East requesting assistance. He was later identified as Roland Marks, 45, of East Naples.
Marks was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital, Collier Chief Jim Williams said. However, an operator who answered the phone at the hospital Thursday night said she had no record of Marks being there.
A third person, 19-year-old Felix Ventura of East Naples, was also injured after being grazed by a bullet, but refused treatment, authorities said.
Deputies confirmed that there were three crime scenes: the 7-Eleven store, Holland Street and Fleming Street.
Marks has been arrested and convicted several times in Collier County, for grand theft, possession of cocaine, violation of probation and several violations of driving with a suspended license. Ventura was arrested and later convicted of possession of marijuana under 20 grams in December of 2009.
Serrano Lopez, Marks and Ventura are all documented gang members, but it is unclear if the shooting was gang related, Williams said.
“We have not found a gang nexus,” he said.
It is unclear if either Marks or Ventura is a suspect in the shooting.
Those who knew Serrano Lopez described him as a friendly, loving, peaceful man, who cared about his large family. He was one of six brothers and six sisters ranging in age from 17 to 37 who all live in Naples, his father Reyes Serrano said. Reyes Serrano originally moved with his eldest son Mario from El Salvador to Naples in 1991, and brought over his wife and other children in the following years.
Reyes Serrano last saw his son Wednesday, when Elmer Serrano Lopez dropped off money so his mother could buy his father a birthday present.
Family friend Oscar Campos, 34, said he knew Serrano Lopez since he was born and that the 20 year old had dreams of working, being successful and forming a family.
Serrano Lopez, who has a twin brother Walter, worked in landscaping and attended Lely High School, said Mario Serrano. However, he did not finish school, his father said.
According to school records obtained by Daily News, Serrano Lopez withdrew from a Collier County School District school at the end of the 2008 school year, when he was 17.
Elmer went through a troubled period, his father said, but “he was learning” and straightening out his life. Police records show that around the ages of 15 and 16, Elmer was arrested on several occasions for robbery, burglary, and grand theft, among other charges, most frequently in Naples Manor. Both Elmer and Walter are documented gang members, according to police reports.
Elmer’s record went quiet for several years until 2009. Since then, he was arrested four times, twice for possession of an alcoholic beverage under the age of 21, once for loitering, and most recently, in March, when he and Walter were arrested together on charges of marijuana possession. Elmer was released in mid-May, however Walter remains behind bars.
When reached by the Daily News during visitation hours at the Naples Jail Center early Thursday afternoon, Walter had not yet been notified of his twin brother’s death. The last time they had seen each other was in jail after that arrest, he said.
“We were really close,” he said, before hanging his head and declining further comment.
“They were really close,” their father echoed. “What one felt, the other felt.”
No arrests have been made in the shooting.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 252-9300, or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-8477.