Sarasota Police investigating first homicide of 2014

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Posted: Wednesday, January 1, 2014 8:29 am | Updated: 9:28 am, Fri Jan 3, 2014.

SARASOTA, Fla. - 3 years ago, on New Years day, there was a reported murder in Sarasota involving a stabbing. And today, just a few hours into the new year, a Sarasota man was found dead in front of his home.

It was a heartbreaking start to the year for a Sarasota family on New Years day, when they found a loved one dead in his front yard.

"She witnessed her son being dead right there,” says Alicia Luna, the victim's sister.

Alicia Luna received a call from her mother that her brother, 50-year-old Johnny Luna, was murdered in the early morning hours of New Years Day. Johnny lived in a mobile home next door to his mother's home.

"My mom and my dad ran out, and they saw their son dead there. They tried everything I guess,” says Alicia Luna.

Sarasota Police detectives, the Crime Scene Unit, and medical examiner quickly ended their holiday and got to work investigating the murder that took place at around 4:25 a.m. The entire block was roped off on East Ave. off of Fruitville to 5th St and also 4th street to 301.

"When our officers arrived, they found the victim, who was a male, laying in a yard of a home on 4th street. EMS attempted to revive the man. However, they were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene,” says Genevieve Judge, Sarasota Police spokesperson.

The medical examiner left with the body around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Luna's family says he was stabbed to death and does not understand why someone would do this.

"Johnny's the kind of guy that would help anybody. I mean, he picks up homeless, and he helps them out and works with them and everything and I don't see who would want to hurt him,” says Alicia Luna.

Luna spent New Years Eve at his uncle's home down the street. The victim's uncle told ABC 7 that before Luna left for the night he told him that someone wanted to fight him.

"Obviously I think somebody had been waiting there for him because how are they going to know that he was coming from my uncle's,” says Alicia Luna. “I can't take that pain away. We've gone through a lot."

As this tragedy sinks in, Johnny Luna's family gathers together in his mother's home, right next door to where they found him earlier this New Years day morning.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • tomtre posted at 11:07 pm on Wed, Jan 1, 2014.

    tomtre Posts: 2

    What l is wrong with you people? A man is murdered and you lead the news with a report on cats. You people are totally sick. I used to think that you were just liberals, but when you report on cats before you talk about a murder you are really sick.

  • heidigreg posted at 10:42 am on Wed, Jan 1, 2014.

    heidigreg Posts: 1

    My heart goes out to the Luna family. So sorry for your loss. My husband worked with Mr Luna.


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