A Florida boy as young as 14 has been arrested on weapons charges in connection with a mass shooting that left two people – including another teenager the same age – dead and 16 others injured, police said.
Thursday’s arrest in Tampa was the second in connection with the Oct. 29 bloodbath during a Holloween celebration in Tampa’s Ybor City that killed 20-year-old Harrison Boonstoppel and a 14-year-old boy identified by his father as Elijah Wilson identified.
The young teenager – who could not be identified due to his age – was arrested for being a minor, in possession of a firearm, wearing a mask and also carrying a concealed firearm.
“There is no reasonable explanation for a 14-year-old to own a firearm,” Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said in a news conference.
“I am incredibly proud of the hard work our officers and investigators continue to dedicate to this investigation, which has resulted in another significant arrest in this case.”
Police had previously said at least two people opened fire during an early morning brawl in a popular neighborhood where bars and restaurants had just closed.
In addition to the two people killed, 16 other people between the ages of 18 and 27 were injured. Most have now been treated and released from hospital. Bay News 9 reported.
Tyrell Phillips, 22, was previously arrested on second-degree murder charges in the killings. He was held without bail.
The 14-year-old arrested this week was seen displaying a gun before fleeing the scene on the night of the bloodshed.
He was held in Palm Beach County until he returned to Tampa.
Chief Bercaw hailed the arrest of the teenage suspect as a “great development.”
“And this is a step forward in this case and it shows that we will take swift and immediate action,” Tampa’s top cop added.
Police are still searching for seven “persons of interest” who were seen in surveillance video at the scene.
“You won’t get away with this,” Bercaw warned in a message to the perpetrators. “This is unacceptable and we are taking swift action.”