A 13-year-old has been arrested related to a shooting that occurred at Curtis Hixon Park on Sunday.
At approximately 8:48 PM on Sunday, January 1, 2023, two teenagers were involved in a verbal altercation that turned physical at Curtis Hixon Park located at 600 N Ashley Drive. During the one-on-one fight, approximately 5-6 additional teens jumped in to assist the would-be shooter in striking and kicking the victim. During the fight, the teen involved in the initial altercation, Eugene Wright, 13, drew a firearm, striking the victim in the upper body. Wright and his friends immediately fled the area on foot. Tampa Police responded to the incident within approximately 45 seconds of the 911 call for service being dispatched. The victim was transported to a local hospital, where he survived his injuries.
Officers were able to quickly begin gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses at the scene, which assisted in identifying Wright as the shooter. Wright was located at his family's apartment in Tampa and taken into custody without incident on Wednesday night, January 4. Wright did not make statements regarding the shooting upon arrest. An investigation is ongoing to determine where Wright obtained the gun used in the incident.
"It's unfortunate that individuals bring their feuds to a public place where families are just looking to have fun, and even more upsetting that the perpetrator has made a bad decision that will likely change his life forever," said Interim Chief Lee Bercaw. "We worked quickly and diligently to identify those involved, which is why the suspect was identified within 24 hours. We won't let those who commit these crimes deter our residents from enjoying public venues in our city."
Wright is facing a felony charge of aggravated battery with great bodily harm.