TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It’s been two days since this chaotic scene unfolded in Ybor City that left people running for their lives, trying to duck the barrage of bullets flying by them.
Tampa Police said two people died and 18 people were hurt. Police arrested Tyrell Phillips, 22, in connection with the early Sunday morning shooting.
Despite the search for police looking to two additional suspects, the party is still going on in Ybor City for Halloween.
“We’re always in Ybor,” said Police Chief Lee Bercaw. “We want to show that you can come out here and you can feel safe.”
Michael Giles was out in Ybor with friends when nearly two dozen shots rang out over the weekend.
“You could feel the anxiety that something was probably going to happen,” Giles said.
Video from witnesses show the chaos that erupted on 7th Avenue.
“Everybody is just trampling over each other,” he recalled.
With Giles’ military background, he kicked into action.
“I felt like I knew what to do,” he said.
Giles locked eyes with a young man who had been shot and ran over to provide aid.
“When he was shot in the stomach, he got twisted and he was sitting down,” Giles said.
He began talking with the victim to make sure he didn’t lose consciousness. Giles learned the victim is 20 and from Georgia.
“I tried to check his body, I checked for exit wound,” he said. “We did find an exit wound, so I tried to patch it up and tried to keep him conscious, and tried to make sure we didn’t lose blood.”
First responders helped the victim and the 15 others who were wounded. Tragically, two others died. Police have charged Phillips with second-degree murder.
“We’re looking for one to two shooters, again that just depends on the witness statements and the videos that come forward,” Bercaw said.
On Halloween night, Bercaw increased officers patrolling on foot, bikes and horseback.
“We’re not going to let one isolated incident take away the great value this community has,” he said.
As for Giles, he said he won’t be going back to Ybor anytime soon, but knows he was supposed to be there in that moment over the weekend to help others.
“To see the amount of people that kind of stepped up to help, it shows that people care for each other here right now,” he said.
To find the additional alleged shooters, the Tampa Police Department and FBI are partnering to create a site where people can submit text, photos, and videos that will immediately go to investigators.
You can visit the website at fbi.gov/tampashooting.