Two British men fatally shot in US state of Florida

18th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

Two British tourists were fatally shot in the Florida city of Sarasota, and a local teenager has been arrested and charged in their deaths, police said Sunday.

James Cooper, 25, and James Thomas Kouzaris, 24, were killed at 3 am (0700 GMT) Saturday in a residential area near government-subsidized housing developments, Sarasota Police Captain Paul Sutton told AFP.

"It's unusual in that it's public housing, there's no open businesses, and they are in the area just before 3 in the morning," Sutton said. "We're investigating what might have caused them to be in that area."

A 16-year-old male was arrested early Sunday and charged with two counts of murder. His name was withheld, Sutton said, while the investigation continued.

Police discovered the bodies of Cooper and Kouzaris after receiving a 911 emergency call early Saturday.

"Both victims had been shot and were deceased," a police statement said. Sutton added that the victims did not have a car.

The men were on a family vacation and staying in Longboat Key, a nearby beach resort community, Sutton said.

"One of the victims' parents were traveling with them," Sutton said. "It's a horrible incident."

The city of Sarasota, population 52,000, is located on Florida's west coast, 225 miles (362 kilometers) northwest of Miami.

A court date has not been set for the teenager, who will likely be charged as an adult, Sutton said.

© 2011 AFP

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