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Shooting kills 2, injures 18 victims in Tampa street during Halloween festivities

1 suspect in custody, another sought after Ybor City shooting
Aftermath of Ybor City Halloween shooting in Tampa, Oct. 29, 2023
Posted at 9:36 AM, Oct 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-29 22:26:48-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A fight between two groups turned deadly in Florida when a shooting in a Tampa street during Halloween festivities resulted in two deaths and 18 people hospitalized early Sunday morning, police said. One suspect is in custody and at least one more is being sought.

At least two shooters opened fire just before 3 a.m. on the 1600 block of East 7th Avenue in the Ybor City area, Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw said during a press conference at the scene.

The fight occurred in an area with several bars and clubs, and there were large numbers of late-night revelers in the area at the time, Bercaw said. Police were not immediately sure if the people involved in the fight were inside any of the bars before the shooting.

Tampa police spokeswoman Jonee Lewis said "hundreds" of people were out on the streets as numerous nightspots closed early Sunday. She said one person was detained but no charges were immediately filed.

"They're being questioned and we'll go from there," Lewis said.

Police officers stand in Ybor City section of Tampa after shooting, Oct. 29, 2023
Police officers stand in the street in the Ybor City section of Tampa, Fla., after a shooting Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023.

Video posted online shows people, many in Halloween costumes, drinking and talking on the street when about a dozen shots ring out followed seconds later by about eight more, creating a stampede. Some people topple over metal tables and take cover behind them. Video from the aftermath shows police officers treating several people lying wounded on the ground.

"It was a disturbance or a fight between two groups. And in this fight between two groups we had hundreds of innocent people involved that were in the way," Bercaw said.

He did not provide details of the injuries suffered by the victims taken to area hospitals.

Police are still investigating the reason for the fight between the two groups, he said.

Officers were at the scene at the time of the shooting but none were injured, Bercaw said.

On Sunday morning, the scene of the shooting was quiet — with few businesses open yet, as officers had the area blocked off. Roosters that roam the historic Ybor City streets wandered among empty cups, beer bottles and shoes left behind.

A witch costume sat in the street.