Bullet casings and plastic Easter eggs lay scattered in the grass when an argument turned into a random gunfight Sunday in a Tampa, Fla., park crowded with families and children celebrating the Easter holiday.
When police arrived at Alfred “Al” Barnes Jr. Park around 5 p.m., two young men were dead and two others were rushed to Tampa General Hospital with critical and life-threatening injuries.
A person dressed as the Easter bunny, who had been entertaining families earlier, joined children behind crime scene tape as investigators combed the scene.
“It was a family day,” said Lt. Ronald McMullen, a spokesman for Tampa police. “We had been in and out of the parks all day. And it was family fun.”
Police identified the dead as reputed local criminal Nico Charles Crawford, 22, and Zedmon Culpepper, 17, both from Tampa. Police have not identified the persons who were injured, whom McMullen described as a male and a female, both are in critical but stable condition, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
“Don’t bring a gun to the park on Easter Sunday, we’re supposed to be celebrating the resurrection of Christ, and this garbage happens,” McMullen said.
Police are looking for the shooter but they aren’t releasing a description. They say this was not a random crime and all of the victims are in their late teens to early 20s.
Officials said they have one person in custody, but described the individual as a person of interest and not a suspect at this time.