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Wednesday, Jul 23, 2014

One man killed, two injured as feud erupts in violence

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KENNETH CITY – A family get-together erupted in violence when a man shot and wounded the patriarch hosting the event and his son-in-law before the patriarch’s son showed up and killed the intruder, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

No one at the home at 4806 58th St., where the party was held on Sunday, was willing to would comment on Monday. The dead intruder was identified as Gjon Hila, 38, who lived about four miles away, at 6351 18th St. N., St Petersburg,

Hila showed up at the home about 8 p.m. and fired upon Tonin Pati, 52, and Pati’s son-in-law, Gzim Rrgalla, 38, who lives nearby at 5790 60th Ave. N. Then Pati’s son, Elton Pati, 28, whose home is directly behind his father’s, came to the home and killed Hila, sheriff’s spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda said.

Tonin Pati and Rrgalla were transported to Bayfront Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

Barreda said the shooting was the result of an ongoing feud between Hila and the Pati clan. The nature of the feud was unavailable.

Residents said the shooting was out-of-character for the working-class neighborhood, and out-of-character for the Pati brood, too. The family comes from Albania and has been living there for roughly 15 years, residents and the sheriff’s office said.

John Klapp, 40, a carpet-installer who lives two houses from the Patis, said it was just before dark when he heard someone knocking on his door, saying, “I’ve been shot, Can you call 911? I’ve been shot.” When Klapp emerged, he wrapped up the wounded man’s arm, then went to the Pati household.

“Everyone was just like frantic, coming in and out of the house,” Klapp said. “You couldn’t understand them. They were speaking half in their language, half in ours.” There were children about, he said.

Greg Good, 45, a landscaper who lives immediately south of the Patis, gave a similar description. A woman from the house knocked on his door following the shooting, looking for help.

The woman was screaming so hysterically as he tried to call 911 that the dispatcher couldn’t understand what Good was saying, he said.

Vincent Horn, 53, who has cerebral palsey and lives next to the family, said he started having chest pains when he heard the commotion and required an amblance trip to the hospital.

sthompson@tampatrib.com. (727) 215-6504.

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