Boy to appear in court over UK tourist deaths

A 16-year-old American boy is due in court later over the murders of two British holidaymakers in Florida.

Shawn Tyson was arrested in connection with the deaths of James Kouzaris from Northampton and James Cooper of Warwick.

Both victims were found dead in the United States city of Sarasota on Saturday, where they had been holidaying.

Police said the boy had previously been arrested for aggravated assault with a handgun on April 7th.

Officers said there was no known link between him and the two victims.

Sarasota police said the 16-year-old, who lives close to where the bodies were found, was arrested about 24 hours after the incident.

The two men, both graduates of the University of Sheffield, did not have a car and were well outside the usual tourist areas of the city.

The motive of the murders has yet to be established, although police suspect it might have been a street robbery or a drug deal that went wrong.

Police confirmed neither of the men were in possession of drugs, although they would not say whether they had cash or weapons.

The area is a hotspot for gangs.

They had been staying on the upmarket island city of Longboat Key, about 12 miles from the less affluent area where they were killed.

Mr Kouzaris, from Northampton, was a guest of the Cooper family, from Warwick who were on holiday in the area.

“Both victims were white,” said Sarasota Police Captain Paul Sutton.

A spokesman for the British consulate in Miami said: “British consular officials can confirm that two British nationals were killed in Sarasota, Florida, on April 16. Next of kin have been notified.”

Shootings of tourists are rare in the United States but in November 2009 Thomas Reeve was gunned down while drinking with friends in a Texas bar.