TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A man is dead after being shot early Sunday morning in Ybor City, according to the Tampa Police Department.
At around 2:50 a.m., officers responded to a shooting at the intersection of East 7th Avenue and North 16th Street.
There, they found a 20-year-old man with a gunshot to his upper body.
Public Information Officer Crystal Clark said several people got into a fight at the intersection, which escalated when Jatony Tykeese Torres, 21, of Tampa pulled out a gun and shot the 20-year-old. It is yet not known what caused the fight.
The victim was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, but he died hours later.
Clark said the shooting was witnessed by officers who were nearby and helping clear out the streets at closing time.
“Because of that, they actually saw what happened and were able to immediately start chasing after that suspect,” she said. “They caught him about three blocks away.”
After being interviewed by detectives, Torres was charged with felony aggravated battery with great bodily harm and a deadly weapon and a felony charge of carrying a concealed firearm. However, the aggravated battery charge was upgraded to first-degree murder.
“There’s never a good situation when you have people who are drunk and fighting in the middle of the street, and one of them makes the poor decision to pull out a gun,” Clark said. “But this was a best-case scenario for us from a police standpoint because we had so many officers who were nearby.”
She also said there was a third man in the crowd who fired his gun at the time. While there’s no sign that he hit anyone with the gun, police officers are still looking for that second gunman.
“It’s incredibly reckless for someone to pull out a gun and start opening [fire] in a crowd of people,” Clark said. “This is a very busy area for tourists to come to the city of Tampa. This is somewhere where we want people to feel safe, to be able to come out for the night and just enjoy themselves with friends.”