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Veteran blames fight over football on TV in shooting deaths of girlfriend and her son, 10

Tyrone Terell Johnson, 42, faces charges of first- and second-degree murder in the deaths of a 34-year-old woman and 10-year-old boy following an altercation at 4302 Mariners Cove Ct., Apt. 104, in Tampa on Oct. 21, 2018. [Luis Santana, Times; Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
Tyrone Terell Johnson, 42, faces charges of first- and second-degree murder in the deaths of a 34-year-old woman and 10-year-old boy following an altercation at 4302 Mariners Cove Ct., Apt. 104, in Tampa on Oct. 21, 2018. [Luis Santana, Times; Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
Published Oct. 22, 2018

TAMPA — A man accused of fatally shooting his live-in girlfriend and her 10-year-old son told deputies they attacked him after an argument over changing the channel to watch a football game, an arrest report says.

Evidence at the scene contradicts that story, according to the report.

Tyron Terell Johnson, 42, called 911 at 6:47 p.m. Sunday and said he shot two people "because he was being attacked," the report says. Deputies arrived at 4302 Mariners Cove Court, Apt. 104, and found the woman and boy dead from apparent gunshot wounds. Their names have not been released.

Johnson told deputies he and his girlfriend got into an argument when he wanted to change the channel to watch a football game. Johnson said he moved to the master bedroom to pack his belongings, the report says. He told investigators he has trouble walking because he recently had surgery on a foot injured during his time in the military.

Johnson told deputies his girlfriend came into the bedroom and started to berate him, the report says. Johnson said he contacted his father by Facebook messenger to pick him up the next morning. At that point, Johnson told investigators, he was on a knee roller and his girlfriend began "tussling" at his back, pushing him off.

He said she pushed him so he sat down on the floor next to the bed. The boy approached and accused him of hitting his mother, Johnson told investigators. He pushed the boy, armed himself with a Glock 22 .40-caliber handgun, and fired at the woman, he told investigators. She had a PlayStation game console in her hands at the time, the report says.

The boy left the bedroom when the gunfire began, Johnson said. The boy returned and Johnson began shooting at him, the report says.

"The defendant advised he kept firing and alluded to firing at victim no. 2 while he was on the ground," the report says.

Johnson said all the shots were fired in the master bedroom, but investigators found evidence of gunfire in the boy's bedroom and blood underneath the boy's bed, the report says. Confronted with that evidence, Johnson did not change his statement.

The report says Johnson had lived with the woman and boy for about a year.

Johnson was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail around 1:20 a.m. Monday and was being held without bail on charges of first-degree felony murder, second-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and shooting into or within a building.

Military records show Johnson served in the U.S. Marines from 1994 to 1998 and achieved the rank of corporal. His specialty is listed as field artillery cannoneer.

Johnson then spent four years in the U.S. Army from 1998 to 2002, reaching the rank of sergeant and specializing as a cannon crew member, records show. The records say he had no deployments during that time.

Times staff writer Howard Altman contributed to this report. Contact Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3374.

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