[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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  • by Jim Location: Gadsden County on May 4, 2011 at 06:43 AM
    The DJJ does not have any credibility because of its past record. 16 year old-Murder-house arrest I don't think so. Lets see how this turns out. Turned over to mother. Like she can control him. Out in a high crime area with a pistol in the middle of the night. Now he's under house arrest under the control of his mother? I don't think so.
    • reply
      by GV on Jun 9, 2011 at 07:08 AM in reply to Jim
      He's not out idiot.Can you read?
  • by Vicious_Fish on Apr 22, 2011 at 10:58 AM
    wait a minute...accused of killing 2 and under house arrest? What color is the sky on the planet you are from? Again, amazing...but not surprising. Guess it would be trampling on his civil rights if we did not let him sit at home and play video games. Poor underprivilaged kid. Quit acting so shocked when this sh*t keeps happening.
    • reply
      by GV on Jun 8, 2011 at 07:22 AM in reply to Vicious_Fish
      Why don't you idiots read before making such stupid comments.This guy is still behind bars.He was released from juvy and was on house arrest for one day BEFORE he committed murder.You people are so stupid.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 22, 2011 at 07:16 AM
    wasn't a british tourist killed at a rest stop in Jefferson County in 1994 or 1995? by teenagers?? this is not good publicity for florida's tourism!!
    • reply
      by 44 on Apr 22, 2011 at 08:33 AM in reply to
      Yes, I believe it was 1993 actully, but yes the rest stop right before you hit Leon county (It may have been in Madison county, dont remember wich) but tourists from Germany wear robbed and killed. Thus that is why there is now armed security at all of them at night.
      • reply
        by Anon on May 18, 2011 at 01:01 PM in reply to 44
        Where should I start? -30 for spelling, -40 for , just 2 'periods', in a complete paragraph! Sub-standard, I give it a D !
  • by ray Location: tallahassee on Apr 22, 2011 at 06:03 AM
    why were the Brits in "Newtown"? DRUGS!! drugs and crime go together they know why the tourist were in Newtown and WE know why young black males in Newtown commit crime...POVERTY in one of the richest mansion=ridden(republican) counties in the nation.
    • reply
      by Hey on Apr 22, 2011 at 09:47 AM in reply to ray
      There you have it folks, case solved. I mean there is now way these tourists could have been lost and trying to find directions. Thanks Ray, I'll foward this to the investigators so they can stop wasting their time.
  • by Robert Location: Tallahassee on Apr 22, 2011 at 06:02 AM
    First of all, my prayers to the family of the slain men, and two, shame on the people who got this pos released to begin with. They should be fired, criminally charged and sued since they knew this pos was violent and armed. NOW, this should really do a lot for tourism and the Govenor attracting business to locate to Florida. Do we really need to keep cutting pay and benifits for our law enforcement and correctional employees? How do you feel about it?
  • by tlh on Apr 22, 2011 at 05:27 AM
    It is stories like this that made that recent article about the new DJJ Chief not sit so well with me. I know she is prevention/intervention oriented, but you ahve to balance that with tough on crime for kids who commit serious crimes. That kid should never have been let out of detention the day before. The Judge listened to the DJJ rep that morning and let him walk. There should be a zero tolerance on release when it comes to violent or gun crimes. No matter the score on their DRAI.
  • by Georgia Girl on Apr 22, 2011 at 04:55 AM
    I bet he will use the "stand your ground" defense. If my child was accused of killing 2 people, I am not sure I would want her in my house. Fortunately, I have never been put in that situation. I say try him as an adult & send him to meet his maker when he is found guilty. Someone like that does not deserve to be part of society.
  • by Dan on Apr 18, 2011 at 03:56 PM
    if he's found guilty, he should die. The only way for the death penalty to work is for the government to start using it. You kill someone intentionally, you die. Give them five years max for appeals, etc. Then kill the sorry b******s!
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