TAMPA — A 20-year-old man has died after being shot early Sunday morning in Ybor City’s nightclub district, and a suspect in the shooting has been charged with first-degree murder, the Tampa Police Department said.
Around 2:50 a.m., as bars and nightclubs in the heart of the city were preparing to close for the night, Tampa police said a melee involving multiple people broke out at the intersection of E Seventh Avenue and N 16th Street — in front of the Centro Ybor complex and 7-11 convenience store, by a brick-road entrance to the public parking garage.
During the fight, police said a 21-year-old man shot a 20-year-old man in the upper body. The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he had been listed in critical condition. Around 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Tampa police confirmed that the man had passed away.
Officers were already lining the streets, preparing to help empty them as nightclubs and bars closed for the night, and heard the gunshots in time to witness the aftermath, the Tampa Police Department said. Multiple officers saw the shooting suspect, Jatony Tykeese Torres, try to run away from the scene and were able to chase him down almost immediately, the agency said.
Police were able to take Torres into custody about three blocks south of the intersection where the gun went off, near the corner of N 16th Street and E Fourth Avenue.
Officers also recovered a firearm from Torres while taking him into custody.
Torres, 21, was booked into Orient Road Jail on felony charges of aggravated battery with great bodily harm, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and carrying a concealed firearm.
However, when his victim died from his injuries, the aggravated battery charge was upgraded to first-degree murder, Tampa police said.
The 20-year-old victim was not identified by Tampa police due to the agency’s interpretation of Florida’s Marsy’s Law.
Meanwhile, local law enforcement agencies are working to identify a second person involved in the brawl who they say was armed and fired at least one shot from his weapon during the fight.
There is no indication that the second male shooter actually struck anyone during the incident, and investigators are still piecing together what caused the fight to break out. Police stressed that the shooting appears to be an isolated incident and investigators do not believe there is any threat to the public at large.
Still, police said the investigation is ongoing and in its early stages.
Anyone with information about the shooting or those involved is asked to call the Tampa Police Department at 813-231-6130 or share information through Tip411, which can be found on the Tampa PD app.