Courts & Crime

Photos released in shooting of British tourists in Florida

SARASOTA -- One frame shows British tourist James Thomas Kouzaris, 24, and fellow Brit James Cooper, 25, talking to a woman with blonde hair who is laughing.

Another frame shows Kouzaris and Cooper chatting with two women seated on chairs around a tall bar table.

These frames, captured on surveillance equipment from Smokin’ Joes on Main Street in Sarasota late Friday and early Saturday, may hold the key to helping police understand what Kouzaris and Cooper may have been planning for the rest of their evening and why they later ended up in Newtown about a mile away.

The pair was discovered dead in the road on Carver Court in Newtown at about 3 a.m. Saturday, about one hour after the bars closed. They were shot multiple times, said Capt. Paul Sutton of the Sarasota Police Department.

By Tuesday afternoon, when the pictures were first emailed to news outlets, some of the bar patrons had called Detective Johnathan Todd, the lead investigator on the case, with information. The police are working on some leads.

“We want people to know that in no shape or form do we think the women seen in the photos are in any way related to the 16-year-old we have arrested,” Sutton said.

Shawn Tyson, who just turned 16, lives in the 1700 block of Bethune Court in Newtown. He was arrested at about 3 a.m. Sunday and has been charged with two counts of murder.

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