(VitalNews.org) – On a night of early Halloween celebrations in Tampa, Florida, over the weekend, two people were shot and 16 others injured, mostly from gunshots.
Twenty-two-year-old Tyrell Stephen Phillips is facing second-degree murder charges after shooting a 20-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy during a clash between two parties. The altercation took place in Ybor City during an active night of Halloween festivities as hundreds flooded the streets at the local nightclubs.
The crowd was sent scrambling in a panic when gunfire broke out. Viral videos on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media showed chaotic scenes as people scattered around in the dark while multiple shots could be heard. Law enforcement was seen in some of the footage trying to help people to safety while others bled on the sidewalk in their Halloween costumes.
Two people were confirmed dead, and 16 more were rushed to the hospital with moderate to severe injuries. Fifteen of those injured suffered gunshot wounds, according to police, and ranged from 18 to 27 years old. Many were treated quickly and released, but five are still hospitalized.
Lee Bercaw, the Tampa Chief of Police, says tips from witnesses aided law enforcement in their identification and arrest of Phillips.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed the shooting afterward, stating that people with serious mental health problems should be placed in an institution against their will in order to prevent future mass shootings. He said society tends “to pass the buck” with many such people, hoping “they don’t do anything wrong” while ignoring the signs that something is off. DeSantis promised to “be more aggressive” on the “fringe people” who show “signs” of being a “danger to society.”
The governor also offered to allocate state resources to the local Tampa police department to assist in the aftermath of the shooting.
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