04-18-2011, 10:48 PM #1
FL - James Cooper, 25, & James Kouzaris, 24, slain, Sarasota, 16 April 2011
Teen gunman accused of murdering two British tourists in Florida was released from custody 2 weeks ago (Daily Mail)
U.S. officers were said to be mystified that the two middle-class visitors [James Cooper and James Kouzaris] were in the Newton district.
The pair were fleeing for their lives when they were shot ‘multiple times’ in the back with a handgun at 3am.
They were left to die in a run-down housing project infamous for drug-dealing and violent gang activity. Their bodies were found 50ft apart surrounded by at least 20 bullet cases.
The 16-year-old charged with murdering two British holidaymakers in Florida was freed by a judge two weeks ago after he was arrested over an armed robbery, it emerged today.
Police suspect they were driven from the bar area to Newtown because there was no sign of a hire car in the area, which last year accounted for 43 per cent of Sarasota’s armed robberies and 83 per cent of its murders.
The crime has "of tabloid interest" scrawled all across it, viz.:
Hours to live... the last photos of shot Brit pals (The Sun)
Florida shooting: Brit tourists killed in machine gun attack were lured to their deaths, fear police (Mirror)
Boy of 16 faces death for hol Brit murders (Daily Star)
-----and even the broadsheets are playing it up:
Florida shootings suspect named as police investigate drug deal theory (Guardian)
Britons shot in Florida killed as part of 'gang initiation' (Telegraph)
And U.S. violence senselessly claims two more lives.
04-19-2011, 08:56 AM #2
From the Guardian article (link above)
Mikel Hollaway, Sarasota's chief of police, told reporters that Kouzaris and Cooper had been in Newtown of their own free will when they were killed, but the reason was unclear. "We have our suspicions but at this time it would be unfair to state those." Among theories police are investigating is that Cooper and Kouzaris were involved in a drug deal, although they say they are looking at all possibilities. No drugs, weapons or large amounts of money were found at the scene.
Police last night roundly dismissed a theory gaining currency in the media that the killer had been involved in a gang initiation.
04-19-2011, 10:35 AM #3
It was suggested on the radio this morning that they had been offered a lift and then taken to a dodgy area.
I have travelled extensively and have on a few occasions found myself in questionable situations, always by accident and I guess I have just been lucky..
This will, I am afraid, just underline USA as a dangerous place in a lot of tourists minds. Shame, I would love to visitEngland's dancing days are done...
04-19-2011, 06:29 PM #4
Daily Mail, adding to yesterday's lengthy article with....
Who are the Florida women? Pictures which could catch killers of Britons
These are the images which detectives in Florida hope will help catch the killers of two British tourists found shot dead in a rundown suburb.
Two women are seen chatting to James Cooper, 25, and James Kouzaris, 24, in a bar in the resort of Sarasota just hours earlier in video camera footage released yesterday.
The images clearly show the quartet talking at 12.13am on Saturday in the busy venue. At 12.50am, the women are seen leaving and the men move to another table and strike up a conversation with another pair of women.
The final image released shows the Britons talking to two blonde women at 1.21am. Police want to talk to all the women who socialised with the two men.
04-19-2011, 09:33 PM #5
I don't like Sarasota. I was there the beginning of the month, and went to Mote Aquarium. I was visiting my mother who winters in Fl. and drove her car to Mote Aquarium. Her car had Ohio tags.
As we were leaving the aquarium, we were stopped at a stop sign and I could hear people yelling and cussing. I was on the phone and I just thought it was someone behind me in an argument. Then I heard something about Ohio state sucks.
They followed me for a couple of blocks, then I made a point of picking up the cell phone and making a call. Yes, I called 911 and gave their license number. When they saw me on the cell, they turned off.
I had never seen these guys before. No previous arguments or even conversation with them. No Ohio State stickers. As best I could tell, this was all because I had Ohio plates.
04-21-2011, 02:30 PM #6
New, "looking for an IHOP" explanation mooted:
Florida Britons searching for a meal in the early hours missed a turning. It cost them their lives
Detectives are exploring an innocent but increasingly compelling explanation of just how James Cooper and James Kouzaris could have ended up on a run-down estate after a night out in the upmarket resort of Sarasota.
Captain Paul Sutton admitted that detectives had previously ignored ‘lifestyle differences’ between Britons and Americans and assumed the tourists would never have dreamed of trying to get around on foot.
The Gator Bar, the last venue that police believe the pair visited early on Saturday morning, is just 1.5miles away from a branch of IHOP, a popular 24-hour diner chain and one of the few places in the city to get food at that hour.
04-22-2011, 06:00 PM #7
Florida suspect in Britons' deaths 'should have been in custody' (Guardian)
A Florida judge warned that a teenager was "a danger to the community" and should remain in custody, only for a colleague to free him hours before he is alleged to have shot dead two British tourists in Sarasota.
Detectives failed to appear as ordered at a 15 April hearing into an episode in which Tyson fired a weapon during a fight, and juvenile bench Judge Deno Economou – unaware of the concerns of Sarasota's chief judge Lee Haworth at an earlier hearing – released him from jail into the custody of his mother.
It was the last in a number of "prosecutorial missteps and a series of communication problems" cited by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune newspaper that led to the fatal confrontation between Tyson and the British friends.
03-28-2012, 07:48 PM #8
A teenager accused of murdering two British tourists in Florida last year will not give evidence in his defence.
Shawn Tyson is on trial charged with two counts of first degree murder after allegedly trying rob, then shooting dead, James Kouzaris, 24, and James Cooper, 25, in Sarasota.
I'm sure there is a defense strategy here but I am not seeing it.Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........
Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?
"Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight
03-28-2012, 08:16 PM #9Registered User
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09-29-2014, 07:59 PM #10
The teenager sentenced to life without parole for the double murder of James Cooper and his friend James Kouzaris has had his sentenced quashed...
Tyson, who was 16 at the time of the killings, was tried as an adult, and convicted of first-degree murder in March 2012. He was given two life terms for the pre-meditated shooting of the friends.
An appeal court in the US has upheld his conviction, but his sentence was thrown out because he was a juvenile when the crime was committed. The case will now be re-sentenced.
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