Surveillance captures end of boxer's life

August 17, 2008 7:29:43 AM PDT
Investigators are hoping that new video holds some important clues in the murder of a promising young boxer in the Bronx. Ronny Vargas was gunned down in his car following a dispute, and a surveillance camera caught the final moments of his life.

He was pistol-whipped and shot before he crashed into several vehicles in an effort to escape.

The video shows the end of the deadly confrontation, which began early Saturday at a bodega in the East Tremont section with some friends. Investigators say two men became angry when they saw their girlfriends talking with Vargas, who was sitting in his car outside.

After arguing, the 20-year-old Vargas drove away with his friends. But the suspects followed his car and cut him off. Then, one of the men pulled a gun and pistol-whipped Vargas before shooting him in the chest.

The video shows Vargas' car as he backed up, striking several other cars before getting out of the car and collapsing.

"There's an empty space in my heart right now, because I don't have him anymore," Vargas' brother, Ronald Vargas, said.

Vargas leaves behind not only a loving family, but also a promising boxing career. Vargas won the Golden Gloves junior middleweight title three times before turning professional in September. He went on to win all eight of his pro fights.

The memorial outside his apartment in Melrose shows the void that will be left in the neighborhood, where he was well-known and well liked.

Vargas last boxing match was two weeks ago, when he knocked out his opponent in the third round. He was set to fight October 18 in Atlantic City.

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STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Thalia Patillo

WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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