Two Britons were found shot dead in Sarasota, Florida in the early hours of Saturday morning, April 16.
The shooting victims have been named as 25-year-old James Cooper and 24-year-old James Kouzaris, who both are graduates of the University Of Sheffield. The pair were on holiday with relatives in Florida.
Sarasota police Captain Paul Sutton, said that the motive for the murder hadn’t yet been established, however, a 16-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with two counts of murder.
Arizona shooting: Sarah Palin slammed for encouraging violence
Arizona shooting:Palin attacks ‘blood libel’
Police have not yet been able to establish a previous connection between the victims and the suspect.
Sarasota police explained they had received a 911 call at about 3am on the Saturday morning from a local resident, who said that a person was lying on the ground covered in blood.
When officers arrived, they also discovered the body of a second man on the other side of the road.
Both men had been severly injured and were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police who collected the evidence after the shooting are said to have found 20 shell casings on the street.
The two Britons had been staying with James Cooper’s relatives, who were on family holiday in Florida, on the city island Longboat Key about 12 miles from where they were found.
Questions about why the two friends had been in the residential neighbourhood of Sarasota have been raised.
“We are still investigating why they would have been in this area,” Captain Sutton said.
“It is very unusual to find tourists or visitors in this area. It is a residential neighbourhood with no shops and no bars. We do not know what brought them here at 3am.”
Only last month Kouzaris and Cooper had a conversation on Kouzaris’s Facebook page about their forthcoming holiday.
Kouzaris had recently returned from a long trip through South America, and announcing his arrival back in Britain he wrote on Facebook:
“Back to normality soon”.
To which Cooper replied: “U have got to be kiddin, ur a back a week and then we go off to America,” said Mr Cooper. “Miami, Miami!!!”.
A spokesman said: “Next of kin have been informed and consular staff are providing assistance.
“Sarasota Police have launched an investigation and have made an arrest. We cannot comment further on the investigation.”
Kouzaris’ friends and family have posted messages on his Facebook page.
Lynn Hucker wrote: “To a beautiful cousin who I will never forget. Always happy and full of life. You will be so sadly missed James.”
Another friend said Kouzaris: “lived every day to the fullest”.