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[UPDATE] Florida Teen Accused of Killing British Tourists

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

[UPDATE] SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- June 8, 2011

Sarasota County court records show anonymous tips and matching bullet types led investigators to a suspect in the fatal shooting of two British tourists.

New documents were released Tuesday in the first-degree murder case against 16-year-old Shawn Tyson, who is charged in the April 16 shootings of 24-year-old James Kouzaris and 25-year-old James Cooper.

On April 7, Tyson was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a firearm. When officers searched his bedroom, they found two .22 caliber bullets, the same caliber used to kill Kouzaris and Cooper. Tyson had been released from juvenile detention a day before the killings.

Following several anonymous tips, a new search of Tyson's home found a black ski mask and another .22 round.

Court records show authorities are still looking for a second possible suspect.

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[UPDATE] SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- May 18, 2011

A probable cause affidavit detailing evidence in the fatal shootings of two British tourists will remain sealed for another month.

Last week, a judge in Sarasota agreed to keep the document under wraps after police said witnesses could be in danger and the investigation could be hampered if it's made public.

The document has been sealed since the April 16 arrest of 16-year-old Shawn Tyson. He is charged with two counts of first degree murder in the shootings of 24-year-old James Kouzaris and 25-year-old James Cooper.

The tourists were fatally shot in The Courts housing project. Police are trying to figure out how the men got to the neighborhood after a night of drinking in Sarasota bars.

Tyson will be tried as an adult. He remains in the Sarasota County Jail.

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[UPDATE] SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- May 4, 2011 -

A 16-year-old southwest Florida boy accused of gunning down two British tourists last month has been indicted for first-degree murder, but police and prosecutors are keeping the evidence against him secret for now.

A grand jury indicted Shawn Tyson on two adult counts of murder Tuesday, and a judge sealed a court document detailing the evidence against him. Authorities say witnesses could be in danger and the investigation damaged if the information is made public.

The document is scheduled to remain sealed until around the middle of May, but the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported that detectives will seek to keep it sealed past that time.

James Kouzaris and James Cooper were fatally shot April 16 in a high-crime Sarasota neighborhood. Tyson was arrested the next day.

[UPDATE]

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- April 22, 2011 -
A 16-year-old boy accused of fatally shooting two British tourists last weekend had been released from juvenile custody a day early and is supposed to be on house arrest.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Thursday the boy had been arrested after admitting that he fired a gun into an occupied car during a dispute. A judge and prosecutor had fought to keep the teen locked up, but a juvenile justice officer and a different judge approved his release to his mother on April 15.

Police say it was early the next morning that he gunned down 25-year-old James Cooper and 24-year-old James Kouzaris in a botched robbery in the city's high-crime Newtown neighborhood.

Police are still trying to determine why the men had gone to the
neighborhood.

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- April 18, 2011 -

A Sarasota teenager is accused of killing two British tourists.

Police say the teen has been charged with the deaths of
25-year-old James M. Cooper and 24-year-old James Thomas Kouzaris.
Their bodies were found by police around 3 a.m. Sunday in a
Sarasota neighborhood.

A resident notified police that a man covered in blood was on
the ground about 3:20 p.m. Saturday. Officers found the other man
nearby. They also found about 20 shell casings in the area.

No other details were immediately available.


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