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Police seek 2 more shooters in Ybor City shooting, launch tip portal

The Tampa Police Department has partnered with the FBI to create the online portal to gather tips and video to help with the investigation.
 
Evidence markers are seen as Tampa police investigators on Sunday process the scene of a shooting that left two dead and 18 injured along Seventh Avenue in Ybor City.
Evidence markers are seen as Tampa police investigators on Sunday process the scene of a shooting that left two dead and 18 injured along Seventh Avenue in Ybor City. [ LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Oct. 31, 2023|Updated Oct. 31, 2023

Tampa police believe at least two more people fired shots during the deadly weekend Ybor City shooting, and the department has partnered with the FBI to create an online portal to collect tips, photos and video to help with the investigation.

The Tampa Police Department announced Tuesday that detectives believe two other people fired guns in addition to the suspect already arrested on a murder charge.

Two people — a 14-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man — died from gunshot wounds, and 15 more people were wounded by gunfire, according to police.

The department has partnered with the FBI to create a web-based portal that will allow the public to submit tips in text form as well as photos and video for investigators to review, according to a news release. Detectives are urging anyone who was near the area at the time of the shooting to review any photos or videos taken and submit them to the new portal at fbi.gov/tampashooting.

“Even if you are not sure if the tip will be helpful, it may be just the evidence our detectives need,” Tampa police Chief Lee Bercaw said in a prepared statement.

Bercaw said he is grateful for the community support and the tips his agency already has received regarding the shooting.

A barrage of bullets rang out around 2:47 a.m. Sunday on the 1600 block of East Seventh Avenue while the entertainment district was packed with people, many in Halloween costumes. Police officers responded to the scene to find the 14-year-old boy lying in a pool of his own blood in the middle of Seventh Avenue. He died at the scene.

The 20-year-old man died at a local hospital.

Police have not released the name of the 14-year-old boy or the 20-year-old man killed in the shooting due to Marsy’s Law. However, the teen’s family identified him as Elijah Wilson.

Tyrell Phillips, 22, was arrested Sunday on one count of second-degree murder with a firearm in connection to Wilson’s death. Records show Phillips told investigators he got into an altercation with a group of men and feared for his life when he fired shots without specifically targeting any of them.

According to court documents, the teen who was killed was carrying a loaded gun in his waistband area, but police found the weapon still in its holster and videos collected by investigators do not show him pulling the gun.

Phillips is being held without bond until a hearing Thursday afternoon, when prosecutors plan to argue that he’s a danger to the community and should be held in jail until trial.

The shooting has led to calls to temper late-night activity in Ybor and concerns that local businesses will be pushed out.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor noted more than 50 officers were in the area Sunday morning, and told the Tampa Bay Times on Monday that “this isn’t a law enforcement problem. This is a societal issue where individuals are choosing to settle grievances with firearms.”

Times staffer Olivia George contributed to this report.