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Florida boy, 16, charged as adult in double slaying of British men

By Michael Martinez, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Last month, two men from England were shot to death in Sarasota, Florida
  • The shooting occurred in a housing project called Newtown
  • A 16-year-old boy who lives nearby will be tried as an adult in the case

(CNN) -- A 16-year-old boy has been indicted as an adult on charges of murdering two British men in Sarasota, Florida, police said Wednesday.

Shawn A. Tyson was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in last month's shooting deaths of James M. Cooper, 25, and James Thomas Kouzaris, 24, both of England, Sarasota Police Chief Mikel T. Hollaway said in a written statement.

Tyson will be tried as an adult and, if convicted of first-degree murder, could receive life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, Hollaway said.

The neighborhood where the British men were found is a housing project in north Sarasota called Newtown, police said.

The teen suspect lives near the crime scene, a police report said, and he had been arrested earlier in April on a charge of aggravated assault with a handgun.

Police said the murders were an isolated incident at the complex, where the housing authority has been working to address problems.

The two men were believed to be friends who recently graduated from college and were in Sarasota to celebrate.

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