Miami: Two British tourists were shot dead in the Florida city of Sarasota, and a local teenager has been arrested and charged with their deaths, police said.
James Cooper, 25, and James Thomas Kouzaris, 24, were killed at 3 am (0700 GMT) on Saturday in a residential area near government-subsidised housing developments, Sarasota Police Captain Paul Sutton said.
"It's unusual in that it's public housing, there's no open businesses, and they are in the area just before 3 in the morning," Sutton said. "We're investigating what might have caused them to be in that area."
A 16-year-old male was arrested early Sunday and charged with two counts of murder. His name was withheld, Sutton said, while the investigation continued.
Police discovered the bodies of Cooper and Kouzaris after receiving a 911 emergency call early Saturday.
"Both victims had been shot and were deceased," a police statement said. Sutton added that the victims did not have a car.
The men were on a family vacation and staying in Longboat Key, a nearby beach resort community, Sutton said.
"One of the victims' parents was travelling with them," Sutton said. "It's a horrible incident."
The city of Sarasota, population 52,000, is located on Florida's west coast, 225 miles (362 kilometres) northwest of Miami.
A court date has not been set for the teenager, who will likely be charged as an adult, Sutton said.
First Published: Monday, April 18, 2011, 15:44