Grooveshark exec shot dead in St. Petersburg


Published: Monday, November 11, 2013 at 7:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 11, 2013 at 7:42 p.m.

Friends and family are mourning the death of Eddy Vasquez, an executive at the Gainesville-based online music streaming company Grooveshark, who was shot to death early Saturday in St. Petersburg.

Vasquez, 27, the director of international sales at Grooveshark, was shot twice by Andres Rodriguez Torres, 26, according to St. Petersburg Police reports.

Vasquez lived in Gainesville and had returned to St. Petersburg to attend a friend’s wedding Friday night. He and Torres had been bar hopping after the wedding to belatedly celebrate Torres’ birthday when they began arguing around 4 a.m. outside a downtown Publix, the reports said.

Torres shot Vasquez twice in the chest with a .40-caliber pistol, police said. Vasquez was taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, where he died two hours later.

Police reports also show that Torres grabbed a witness in a headlock and dragged him back to Torres’ apartment. Police arrested Torres shortly before 9 a.m. Saturday at his apartment and found the handgun they said he used to shoot Vasquez.

Torres was arrested on charges of armed kidnapping and second-degree murder, the report said. He was being held without bond at the Pinellas County jail on Monday.

Police have not revealed any motive for why they say Torres shot his friend.

Vasquez was born in Chicago but spent his younger years in Ecuador before moving to St. Petersburg around age 14, according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times.

He and Torres attended the University of South Florida together, where they both earned business-related degrees, according to the Times report.

The two worked out and partied together, but their personalities could hardly have been more different. Where Vasquez was outgoing and sociable, Torres was reserved and aggressive, especially when he had been drinking, according to the Times report.

Vasquez joined Grooveshark more than two years ago and rose to the position of director of international sales. On Monday, Michael Yeon, vice president of marketing at Grooveshark, issued a statement about the shooting.

“Mr. Vasquez was visiting friends and family in the Tampa Bay area over the weekend when he fell victim to a senseless act of violence,” he said. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague.”

On social media, Vasquez’s family and friends switched their profile picture to a drawing of a sunglass-wearing Vasquez, opening his shirt like a comic book hero to reveal the Grooveshark logo.

For his younger brother, David Vasquez of St. Petersburg, Eddy was a hero.

“The hardest part is accepting that you’re actually gone,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “The easiest part is knowing that you left happy, successful and with so many great memories for us to remember you by ... you weren’t just my brother you were my idol and hero.”

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