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Tampa police make a third arrest in the Ybor City shootings but seek more tips

Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw speaking during a news conference
Tampa Police Department
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Facebook
Police Chief Lee Bercaw announces the third arrest in connection with the fatal shootings in Ybor City during a news conference on Dec. 7, 2023.

As a 21-year-old faces gun charges in the Oct. 29 shootings, police announced law enforcement agencies are offering additional rewards for information leading to arrests.

For the second consecutive day, a person faces charges in connection with the fatal shootings in Ybor City on Halloween weekend.

The arrest comes as law enforcement agencies increased the reward for information leading to arrests.

Dwayne Tillman Jr., 21, was arrested on charges of attempted murder with a firearm and attempted aggravated battery with great bodily harm (firearm), Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw announced at a news conference Thursday.

Mug shot of Dwayne Tillman, arrested on gun charges in the Ybor City shootings
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
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Courtesy
Dwayne Tillman Jr., 21, was arrested and faces charges of attempted murder with a firearm, and attempted aggravated battery with great bodily harm (firearm) in connection with the Ybor City shootings on Oct. 29, 2023.

It's the third arrest in connection with the shootings that took place as clubs closed in Ybor City on Oct. 29. Two people were killed and 16 were injured.

On Wednesday, police said a 14-year-old was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Harrison Boonstoppel, 20. The teen will be tried as an adult.

"It should be clear to anyone at this point that if you participate in criminal activity, you will be arrested, you will be prosecuted, and justice will be found for those who suffered from your actions," Bercaw said in a news release. "This additional arrest is another demonstration of our commitment to holding criminals accountable, and I can only hope it provides a small sense of closure for the families of all those who have been impacted."

Tyrell Phillips, 22, was charged shortly after the shooting with second-degree murder in the death of 14-year-old Elijah Wilson. Last month, a judge ordered Phillips held without bond until his trial, agreeing with prosecutors that he remains a danger to the community.

Phillips has pleaded not guilty.

According to police, Tillman arrived in Ybor City with Wilson, the teen who was arrested in Boonstoppel's death, and others.

That group became involved in a dispute with Phillips and a group of others with him.

After Phillips shot Wilson, police said, Tillman was seen running before turning and firing a handgun as Phillips ran away.

"I commend the Tampa Police Department for their relentless efforts in finding those responsible for these senseless shootings," Hillsborough State Attorney Susan Lopez said in the news release. "When this defendant opened fire on historic Seventh Avenue, he put hundreds of lives in danger. Anyone who shows that type of disregard for human life should face serious consequences."

While Bercaw thanked the community for "their care and concern" and for tips investigators have received, other law enforcement agencies announced they're supplementing Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay's original $5,000 reward for information leading to arrests.

Contributions from the FBI ($12,000), Florida Department of Law Enforcement ($5,000), and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ($5,000) bring the total rewards to $27,000.

The Tampa police investigation continues. Anyone with information is asked to submit a tip to the FBI here.

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