The suspect arrested in last weekend’s shooting in Ybor City, which resulted in the deaths of two individuals and left 15 others injured, has been formally charged by prosecutors.
According to records, the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office filed a charge of second-degree murder with a firearm against 22-year-old Tyrell Phillips.
While the victim’s name is redacted in the document due to Marsy’s Law, it has been previously reported by the Tampa Bay Times that Phillips had been arrested in connection with the death of 14-year-old Elijah Wilson.
Although the police have only released the ages of the deceased, they have confirmed that a 14-year-old victim died at the scene, and a 20-year-old man passed away at a local hospital. Court documents state that the person shot by Phillips died at the scene. Elijah Wilson’s family has identified him as the teenager killed in the incident.
According to court records, Phillips told the police that he became involved in a confrontation with another group of individuals on Seventh Avenue early last Sunday morning.
He claimed he opened fire because he felt threatened. Phillips stated that a group of men confronted him after he waved to a woman he knew from school, and that one of the men reached for his waistband.
Video footage from the scene shows Wilson approaching Phillips and his group with his arms raised. As Wilson began to lower his arms, Phillips drew his weapon and fired at him.
The video does not depict Wilson reaching for or drawing a weapon, as stated in an arrest affidavit and pretrial detention motion filed in the case. Phillips also told the police that the person he is seen shooting in the video is not the person he saw reaching for his waistband.
Phillips informed the police that he estimated firing two shots before fleeing to the north, hearing additional gunshots from behind him.
A loaded gun was found in Wilson’s waistband, but the weapon was still holstered, according to the motion.
Phillips pleaded not guilty last week and has retained a private attorney, David Parry, who did not immediately respond to a message left at his office on Monday.
Prosecutors have filed a motion requesting that a judge order Phillips to be held in jail pending trial, arguing that he poses a danger to the community. A hearing on that motion was postponed last week, and the Hillsborough Clerk of Court website does not indicate that it has been rescheduled. An arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 28.
In addition to the two fatalities, 15 people were wounded by gunfire when the shooting occurred around 2:45 a.m. on Seventh Avenue, while the street was still crowded with people, many in Halloween costumes. Police stated last week that investigators believe at least two other individuals began firing after Phillips started shooting.
It remains uncertain if Phillips could face additional charges related to the shooting. A spokesperson for the state attorney’s office referred inquiries to the Tampa Police Department.
A Tampa police spokesperson stated in an email on Monday that detectives are still examining evidence to identify the other shooters, ascertain their involvement, and determine if further charges may be brought in the case.
Harrison Boonstoppel’s family has confirmed that he was the second person killed in the shooting in Tampa. His mother mentioned at a vigil last week that he was shot three times.
The police department has collaborated with the FBI to establish a website where the public can provide tips, photos, and videos.