Shooting in Tampa leaves 2 dead, 18 injured after fight breaks out at Halloween celebration

At least two Floridians were killed and another 18 injured in a mass shooting that occurred during outdoor Halloween festivities in the Tampa neighborhood of Ybor City.

The shooting specifically occurred around 3:00 am Sunday morning after a fight broke out between two groups of people, according to local station WFLA.

“Between these two groups, we had hundreds of innocent people involved that were in the way,” Tampa Police Department chief Lee Bercaw told the station.

Included among them was Emmitt Wilson’s now-deceased 14-year-old son.

“This the second child I done lost to gun violence. That’s all I got to say. I’m losing my mind right now; I don’t know what to do,” he told WFLA.


As of around 9:00 am Sunday morning, one suspect was in custody and at least one more suspect was being sought, according to the Associated Press.

“They’re being questioned and we’ll go from there,” Tampa Police spokesperson Jonee Lewis told the AP in regard to the detained suspect.

She added that hundreds of people were outside at that hour of the night because a bunch of downtown nightspots had closed, thus evidently leaving the revelers with no place to go and nothing to do.

Video footage from the event showed numerous people, many wearing Halloween costumes, drinking, socializing, and celebrating, when all of a sudden gunshots began ringing out, 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,” according to the AP.

By morning, the streets were reportedly calm again.

“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,” the AP noted.

At the scene meanwhile were two young women who reportedly had decided to not come to Tbor City the night before due to the known crime issues.

“We know how Ybor gets. A lot of crime happens here often. You sometimes know not to go to certain places,” Minna Cohen, a 23-year-old recent University of Tampa graduate, said.

“When everyone comes together it gets messy, and it’s that way all night,” her friend, 21-year-old Carolina Londoner, added, referring to what happens very night when the bars and nightclubs shut down and everybody rushes outside.

Responding to the latest mass shooting, X users expressed dismay at the constantly devolving state of America in 2023.

“Becoming an everyday occurrence in America. It’s not guns killing people, it’s people killing people,” one X user wrote.

“So sad. Can we feel safe going anywhere anymore. NFL games are a bare knuckle fight contest. Mass shootings happen almost weekly it seems. It is so sad. #americanhorrorstory,” another X user added.

See more responses below:

Saturday’s mass shooting comes only days after a mass shooting last Wednesday in Maine, where an Army Reservist and firearms instructor killed at least 22 people and injured dozens of others.

The incident began sometime before 7:15 pm, according to the Sun Journal. By 8:53 pm, the Lewiston Maine Police Department had reported on Facebook that there was “an active shooter incident” in the town.

According to various reports, the gunman first entered the Sparetime Recreation bowling alley and opened fire, killing a number of people.

The gunman then evidently left and traveled to Schemengees Bar and Grille, which is about four miles away and opened fire, killing more people.


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Vivek Saxena


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