Newly released court documents have provided additional information about the mass shooting that occurred in Ybor City, Tampa, early Sunday morning. The documents outline the events leading to the arrest of Tyrell Stephen Phillips, 22, as one of the suspects involved in the shooting. The incident resulted in the deaths of two individuals and left 16 others wounded.
According to a criminal report affidavit, officers who were already present in Ybor City’s Entertainment District heard multiple gunshots coming from 7th Avenue at approximately 2:47 a.m. Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw stated that around 50 officers were on the scene at the time of the shooting. Upon arrival at the 1600 block of 7th Avenue, officers discovered several victims with gunshot wounds, including the body of a 14-year-old boy identified as Elijah Jaquan Wilson.
The affidavit reveals that Phillips voluntarily surrendered himself to officers at the scene and admitted to being one of the shooters. Officers found a Glock 29 10mm semi-automatic firearm with 11 rounds still in the weapon in Phillips’ front waistband. During an interview with a homicide detective, Phillips claimed that he was with a group of friends when he noticed a woman from his middle school. He stated that as he waved at her, he was approached by approximately six individuals in an aggressive manner.
Phillips further explained that one person took a fighting stance while another spat at him. He alleged that a third individual appeared to be reaching for a weapon from his waistband, although he did not actually see a firearm. Phillips stated that he couldn’t hear what the group was saying due to the noise in the area. Feeling threatened, he retrieved his Glock firearm and discharged it, claiming he fired two rounds towards the entire opposing group. After firing, he fled the scene towards the north and heard additional gunfire from behind him.
Evidence suggests that two other individuals also discharged firearms during the incident.
To aid in the search for these unidentified shooters, the Tampa Police Department and FBI have launched a website where individuals can submit text, photos, and videos that will be immediately forwarded to investigators. Chief Lee Bercaw expressed gratitude for the community’s support and the tips provided to investigators thus far. He encouraged anyone with information to visit fbi.gov/tampashooting and submit any relevant photos or videos that could assist in the ongoing investigation. Even if unsure of the tip’s potential value, it may provide crucial evidence for detectives.
The web portal can be accessed at fbi.gov/tampashooting.