FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A 22-year-old Fort Pierce man was sentenced to two life sentences without possibility of parole after being convicted in the shooting deaths of a man and woman in 2020.
On Monday, a judge sentenced Tyriek Jacari Ganious to two consecutive life sentences and an additional 30 years in prison for his weapons offenses. He also is required to pay the Florida State Statute mandatory minimum restitution of $50 to the Fort Pierce Police Department for investigative costs.
On Sept. 15, a jury found him guilty of the murders of Emily Gordon, 25, and Phillip Simmons, 26. Ganious had been charged with two counts of first-degree murder with a firearm and two counts of possession of a firearm or ammunition by a convicted felon.
Fort Pierce police said on Oct. 21, 2020 at around 12:54 a.m., officers responded to the Madison Cay Apartments located at 1655 North 29th St. for a shooting. When they arrived, they found Gordon, of Fort Pierce, and Simmons, of northern Florida, near the parking lot of the complex with gunshot wounds.
The victims were transported by St. Lucie County Fire Rescue crews to HCA Florida Lawnwood Hospital, where they died.
Oct. 26, 2020, police arrested Ganious on an outstanding warrant for an unrelated gun charge and took him to St. Lucie County Jail. Police said he was wearing the "same type of clothing" as the suspect identified in the shootings, authorities said.
Following further investigation, Ganious was charged on Dec. 10, 2021, with committing both murders, Fort Pierce police said.
Fort Pierce police said lead detective Officer Noah Clark said having Ganious already behind bars on an unrelated charge provided authorities the opportunity to thoroughly investigate the murders without him being on the streets.
“I know the family was frustrated at times but I kept in contact with them and made sure they knew what was going on,” Clark said. “After the guilty verdict, I met with the family again. I’m hoping this murder conviction gives them some sense of closure.”
Fort Pierce police said Chief Diane Hobley-Burney praised the dedication of Clark and all the staff involved in the investigation of the case.
“My heart goes out to the families and friends of the victims,” she said. "Detective Clark and the team worked countless hours following up on leads to bring justice to the families. Their commitment certainly paid off with a conviction that will keep Ganious behind bars for the rest of his life.”