TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa police say they’re now looking for at least two more shooters who were involved in the deadly mass shooting in Ybor City early Sunday morning.
“Based upon analysis of all of the evidence we’ve done over the past couple of days, we do believe that there were at least two additional shooters. So, we are looking for one to two additional shooters and that is why we are reaching out to the public and asking for their assistance in trying to identify these individuals,” said Tampa Police Major Patrick Messmer.
Police arrested Tyrell Phillips, 22, on the night of the shooting after he turned himself in.
Family and friends of Phillips say it was a case of self-defense. The court filing includes a copy of a post on social media that claims it “all started on the internet…with the 14 year old talking about Tyrell.”
Phillips is accused of shooting and killing the teen in question. Video of the incident shows Phillips firing his weapon at the 14-year-old. In another post on social media that is part of the court filing, one person claims Phillips was surrounded by people coming at him.
“The victim was armed and aggressively approaching the accused while they were backing away,” the document said.
Tampa police said they are establishing a timeline of the entire series of events, including any communication between Phillips and the victim that occurred before the shooting.
“Part of our investigation is creating a sequence of events, not only in what happened in the time leading up to the shooting but really what was going on with our victim, our defendant, anybody else who might have been pulling a trigger that night,” said Messmer.
He also said detectives were reviewing dozens of videos submitted to police.
“Our detectives have to comb through each and every one of these videos in order to try and identify people who might have been with our suspect or any of our victims to see if they had involvement in the shooting,” said Messmer.
Tampa attorney Bryant Camareno has handled a number of high profile cases, but is not involved in this one.
He said that Phillips’ defense attorney will have to convince a jury of several factors to establish a case of self-defense.
“You look at the person’s situation. Was he surrounded by people? Did he feel threatened? Was he in fear? And then you look at, was it reasonable prudent for him to react the way he did?” Camareno said.