TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Newly released court documents revealed new details on what transpired the night of a mass shooting that killed two people and wounded 16 others in Ybor City early Sunday morning.
The documents detailed what led to the arrest of Tyrell Stephen Phillips, 22, as one of the suspects involved in the shooting.
According to a criminal report affidavit, officers who were already in Ybor City’s Entertainment District heard numerous rounds of gunfire coming from 7th Avenue at about 2:47 a.m. Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said there were approximately 50 officers on the scene at the time of the shooting.
As officers arrived at the 1600 block of 7th Avenue, they found numerous victims who were wounded by gunfire as well as the body of a 14-year-old boy, who was identified by relatives as Elijah Jaquan Wilson.
Officers also located a 20-year-old victim who died after being taken to Tampa General Hospital. He was identified by his family as Harrison Boonstoppel.
The affidavit said Phillips voluntarily surrendered himself to officers at the scene and admitted to being one of the shooters. Officers said they found a Glock 29 10mm semi-automatic firearm in his front waistband, with 11 rounds still in the weapon.
The homicide detective, who wrote the affidavit said he interviewed Phillips, who said he was his with a group of friends when he saw a woman who went to middle school with him.
“As he was waving at this female, he was approached by what he estimated to be 6 [redacted],” the affidavit said. “He advised these [redacted] approached him in an aggressive manner.”
Phillips told the detective that one of the individuals took a fighting stance while another spit at him, according to the document.
Phillips then claimed that a third person appeared to be reaching for a weapon from his waistband, but police said the suspect told them he never actually saw a firearm. The suspect also said he couldn’t hear what the group of people were saying because of the noise in the area.
“The defendant stated the group continued to approach him and he was in fear, so he retrieved his Glock firearm and discharged it,” the affidavit said. “The defendant stated he did not fire the gun towards a particular person, but just the entire opposing group. The defendant estimated he fired two rounds. Once he fired his gun, he ran away from the scene towards the north and stated he heard additional gunfire from behind him.”
The affidavit said the teenage victim was part of the group. However, the detective said while videos of the shooting showed the 14-year-old approaching Phillips in an “agitated manner,” the teen had his arms raised away from his waist.
“Simultaneously, as victim 1 is lowering hands, the defendant appears to retrieve his firearm from his waist area and fires the firearm in the direction of victim 1 which caused victim 1 to instantly fall to the ground,” the affidavit said.
According to the document, Phillips was shown the video and said the 14-year-old was the one who spat at him, not the one he saw reaching for the firearm.
“From viewing this video, the defendant confirmed the [redacted] he is seen on video shooting was not the [redacted] he saw reaching for [redacted] waistband,” the affidavit said.
Recovered cellphone video and the defendant’s statement confirmed that the 14-year-old did not pull out his gun at any time, according to police.
A pretrial motion, filed by State Attorney Suzy Lopez, called Phillips a threat to the community and asked that he be subject to pretrial detention.
As of this report, Tampa police said they are still looking for two other shooters in this case. They have set up a tip site for those with information on the crime.