HUDSON - As he provided details into a Sunday night shooting death in Hudson, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco said the fate of the victim should come as no surprise.
Francis Joseph Soto, 23, was found shot inside his 12206 Bear Claw Loop home about 8 p.m. Sunday and died a short time later from his wounds.
Authorities said the home has been linked to previous illegal drug sales.
“We want to make it very clear, Mr. Soto, he’s a high probability victim,” Nocco said. “Which means if you’re involved in drugs, when you’re dealing, when you have several arrests and you’re in the game, (there’s) a higher probability that you’re going to be a victim at some point in your life than someone who is innocent and minding their own business.”
Deputies were called to the home about 8 p.m. Sunday. When they arrived, Soto was found inside the home shot.
Joyce Parkinson said she has lived across the street from Soto for 13 years and has had to call authorities regularly for fights or unusual traffic in and out of the house.
“Did I expect it to happen here? Of course,” Parkinson said. “Nobody’s ever done a thing about it. Just call the cops, have them come out, they investigate, and then they leave.”
Two other people were inside the home when the shooting occurred, Nocco said. The suspect, whose identity was not released by authorities, was allowed into the home and went into a back room with Soto.
“At some point, around 8 o’clock, the two other people inside the house came running out,” Nocco said. “We got calls from neighbors that believed it was possibly a domestic situation. Our deputies arrived on scene at that time and they found Mr. Soto in a bad, critical condition.
“We do have a suspect that we are building up some information on. We can’t release that at this time only because our detectives are working on some leads and we don’t want to ruin their investigation.”
During a news conference Monday morning, Nocco said Soto had an affiliation with the Juggalos, a group affiliated with the “horrorcore” hip-hop music group Insane Clown Posse.
Juggalos fans wear face paint and well-worn clothes as an homage to the music group. The FBI has labeled some members of the group as gang members.
Nocco affiliated Soto with the gang version of the group. Additionally, neighbors confirmed Soto would often be seen in public with his face painted in the same fashion as a clown, or Juggalo.
Dana Deane, who lives around the corner from Soto, said he dated her daughter about six years ago.
Deane said two brothers lived in the house with Soto and paid him rent. One of the brothers had a girlfriend who also lived there.
“The people he had living with him was paying him rent and he was trying to survive,” Deane said. “They lived in the front of the house.”
She and other neighbors said Soto suffered from seizures.
Since 2008, Soto had been arrested five times. The first came in June 2008 for aggravated assault; he was arrested May 2009 for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and possession of marijuana. Six months later, he was arrested and charged with trespass after warning. In February 2012, he was charged with battery by strangulation and resisting arrest without violence. Soto’s final arrest was April 2012 for violating probation for a past retail theft conviction.
Anyone with information can call the sheriff’s office tip line at 1-800-706-2488.