Florida Suspect "Admits" Sheffield Murders

15 June 2011, 09:21 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

There are claims a teenager accused of killing two ex Sheffield Uni friends in Florida, admitted their murders to a friend.

James Kouzaris, 24, and James Cooper, 25, were gunned down in a rundown Sarasota neighbourhood on April 16 after a night out drinking.

Mr Kouzaris, of Northampton, and Mr Cooper, of Hampton Lucy, near Warwick, were on holiday together with Mr Cooper's parents in the upmarket island city of Longboat Key, about 12 miles from the crime scene.

Shawn Tyson, who lived near the murder spot, was arrested and charged with the men's murders.

According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, court documents show that prosecutors allege he told another prison inmate "I did it''.

He is also claimed to have said the only evidence against him is a set of bullets uncovered by police in a search of his home.

In a recorded telephone call made in prison, he is alleged to have said "they found the bullets'' and "that's the only thing that's going to f*** me up.''

And it is claimed that Tyson admitted to a friend that he killed the tourists in The Courts housing estate in the Newtown area of Sarasota.

However, the friend told investigators that he did not believe him and that Tyson was trying to be "cool or something''.

Police have previously released released documents showing they had matched bullets found in the suspect's room with the calibre used to kill the pair - .22 rounds.

Sarasota County Court documents also show that anonymous tips led detectives to search Tyson's home.

The teenager has been charged as an adult with two counts of 'first-degree' murder.

Nearly two months on, police are still stumped over why the victims were in an impoverished and dangerous area in the early hours of the morning.

They still had money on them along with a camera and did not appear to have been robbed.