A 22-year-old suspect has been arrested and charged with second degree murder in a shooting on a crowded street in Tampa, Florida, early Sunday morning, leaving two people dead and 16 others injured, authorities said.
The shooting started after a dispute between two groups broke out as hundreds of people were filing out of the bars and nightclubs in Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood, just before 3 a.m. A 14-year-old boy and a 22-year-old man were killed, Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said.
Of the 16 people injured, 15 were shot and one person had other serious injuries, Bercaw said. They were triaged at the scene and transported by Tampa Fire Rescue to nearby hospitals, Tampa police said in a statement.
“Many of the additional victims, who ranged in age from 18-27 years old, have been medically treated and released from the hospital. Five remain in the hospital, recovering from their injuries,” the statement said.
Police said earlier 18 people were injured in the shooting. Bercaw clarified two people were killed and 16 were injured.
It was one of several shootings that took place amid celebrations across the country this weekend ahead of Halloween.
Tyrell Stephen Phillips now faces a charge of second degree murder with a firearm, Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said Sunday afternoon. There is no attorney on record for Phillips, according to jail records.
Officers were able to charge Phillips “because of the community coming forward and assisting us in this investigation,” Bercaw said, noting police had received a “plethora” of tips since appealing to the public Sunday morning.
“See something, say something applies to anywhere,” Bercaw said. “You could be in a mall. You could be in a movie theater. You could be in Ybor. Wherever you see something suspicious, you need to let us know immediately.”
Bercaw said officers were present when the incident happened and responded within seconds.
“People were out on Saturday night. It’s three o’clock, the bars let out, there’s hundreds in the street,” Bercaw said.
Police say two handguns were recovered at the scene, one of which was stolen. They are looking into whether other shooters were involved.
State Attorney Suzy Lopez said her office is working side by side with law enforcement in responding to Sunday’s shooting.
“We will assist in the investigation and stand ready to vigorously prosecute anyone who resorts to senseless gun violence and harms our community,” Lopez said Sunday afternoon.
The Tampa Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is on the scene to assist with the investigation, the agency said in a statement on X Sunday afternoon.
“It is tragic what happened here, that families have to wake up and see on the news what happened here tonight,” Bercaw said.
Authorities said they know there was a “disturbance or issue between the two groups,” and one unidentified male who they believe was involved in the incident, has “turned himself in, and detectives are interviewing him now.” They are also asking people for help by providing tips and videos.
“This is a very complicated scene but what we know, at this point, it was a disturbance or a fight between two groups,” adding “in this fight between two groups, we had hundreds of innocent people involved that were in the way,” Bercaw said.
“We’re going to hold those accountable and we are going to bring them to justice, but we need the cooperation of the community for that, and that is our ask,” he added.
When asked if authorities suspect this incident to be gang-related, the police chief said, “At this point, it is early in the investigation, so that will be part of our investigation.”
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said 50 Tampa police officers were deployed to the area when the shooting took place.
“Lives lost and others forever changed. To what end?” Mayor Castor said in a statement on X. “Bad decisions made in a split second and the proliferation of readily available guns are responsible for these almost daily incidents. We can affect one half of this equation.”
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