Man charged over deadly Halloween shooting in Florida


The police force in Tampa, Florida, have arrested and charged a 22-year-old man on Sunday over a shooting which killed two people and injured at least 16. 

broke out in the early hours of Sunday around a clutch of bars and clubs as people celebrated Halloween. At least two shooters had opened fire just before 3 a.m. (0700 GMT) in the Ybor City area, Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said at a news conference at the scene later in the day. 

“It was a disturbance or a fight between two groups. And in this fight between two groups we had hundreds of innocent people involved that were in the way,” Bercaw said. 

What do we know?

The 22-year old arrested has been charged with the second degree murder of a 14-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man as a result of the clash between two groups, the police said.

While authorities had earlier said that one suspect had been apprehended and another was being sought, Bercaw did not clarify if the police were seeking anyone else after the arrest. 

“We make arrests quickly,” Bercaw said in the briefing. “We have a sense of urgency and if you are going to be out there with a gun, you are going to pay for it.”

Bercaw called the gun violence “extremely tragic.”

“My heart goes out to the families,” he said. 

Emmitt Wilson, father of the 14-year-old victim, said he hoped that the investigators would do their job. “It’s madness to me. I don’t even feel like I’m here right now,” Wilson said. 

While five of the injured were still in hospital, others were treated and released soon after, authorities said in a statement.

Reaction to the gun violence

Videos on micro blogging platform X, formerly Twitter, showed utter chaos as people ran for cover while .

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, a former city police chief, blamed Sunday’s shooting on .

“Yet again, a senseless loss of life by those choosing to settle a dispute with firearms. Lives lost and others forever changed. To what end?” Castor asked.

Bercaw said the police were still investigating the reason for the violence between the two groups.

mk/jsi (Reuters, AP)

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