Arrest made in mass shooting that left two dead, 18 injured - and the mayor blames guns, not criminals

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TAMPA, FL - During the early morning hours on Sunday, October 29th, two people were killed and 18 others were injured when a mass shooting erupted during Halloween festivities. 

According to the Associated Press (AP), later that day, authorities were able to arrest one of the shooters. That man has since been identified as 22-year-old Tyrell Stephen Phillips. He has been charged with second degree murder with a firearm.

During a press conference, Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said, "Our victim count is at 18. We have two deceased, a 14-year-old and a 22-year-old." Bercaw added, "My heart goes out to the families."

He called the gun violence "extremely tragic" and that police would not tolerate it. He said, "We make arrests quickly. We have a sense of urgency and if you are going to be out there with a gun, you are going to pay for it."

According to CBS News, it was a fight between two groups of people that took a turn for the worse when the shooting rang out. 

Bercaw said that the fight occurred in an area where several bars and clubs were located, and that there were large numbers of people still out in the area at that time. He added, "We had hundreds of innocent people involved that were in the way."

Nearly 50 Tampa police officers responded to the scene where they say most of the victims were between the ages of 18 to 27. 

Videos posted to social media show people in Halloween costumes drinking and talking on the street right before shots rang out. People began to run over each other, even toppling over tables and take cover behind them. 

Other videos show the aftermath in which officers can be seen treating several people lying wounded on the ground. Bercaw did not provide details of the injuries suffered by the victims who were transported to local hospitals.

Police said that two guns were recovered, one of which was stolen. They are still investigating the possibility of other suspects and/or shooters. 

The mayor of Tampa, Jane Castor said that the city was the focus of national attention for "yet another shooting in our country." She added, "We've got to say, as a country, that enough is enough."

Castor, a former city police chief, blamed the shootings on easy access to guns. She said, "Yet again, a senseless loss of life by those choosing to settle a dispute with firearms. Lives lost and others forever changed. To what end? The Tampa Police Department had 50 officers deployed in the area at the time, so this is not a law enforcement issue."

According to reports, Ybor City has been a popular entertainment district for more than century and throughout that time, it has also been a frequent site of gun violence. Police presence has increased over recent years with officers being stationed at every major intersection on busy nights.
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Comments

Cary

Mayor Castor is correct when she states "It's not a law enforcement issue", But it's not a firearm or lack of laws issue either. ITS A MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE!

Cary

Mayor Castor is correct when she states "It's not a law enforcement issue", But it's not a firearm or lack of laws issue either. ITS A MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE!

Cary

Nothing in Mayor Castors reported statement suggests that she " BLAMES GUNS", but it sounds more like journalistic bias to me. 1 minute ago | Comment by: Cary Mayor Castor is correct when she states "It's not a law enforcement issue", But it's not a firearm or lack of laws issue either. ITS A MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE!

Cary

Nothing in Mayor Castors reported statement suggests that she " BLAMES GUNS", but it sounds more like journalistic bias to me. 1 minute ago | Comment by: Cary Mayor Castor is correct when she states "It's not a law enforcement issue", But it's not a firearm or lack of laws issue either. ITS A MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE!

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