TAMPA, Fla. — Hillsborough County detectives are investigating a deadly shooting overnight outside a teen club in Tampa.
Deputies say that an event space referred to as “The Club” located in the 5800 block of 50th Street North was hosting a teen night on Monday night.
The teen night was open from 8 p.m. until 12 a.m. Deputies say that sometime around 10:45 p.m., management decided to close the event down early because a lot of fights were occurring in the club. At that time, between 150 to 200 people were in the process of leaving the event.
Deputies say that there were two armed, licensed security guards working at the event.
“At one point the heard initially what was fireworks, then they heard gunshots,” Colonel Donna Lusczynski said in a press conference Tuesday morning. “The security guards moved over to where the gunshots were coming from, saw an individual firing a weapon. Both of them being in fear for their lives at that time both fired their guns.”
“We have two individuals that are deceased in the vehicle. A male and a female,” Lusczynski added.
The victims were identified as 25-year-old Jyhaad D. Grant and 15-year-old Julissa D. Jackson, both of Tampa.
Jackson’s family tells ABC Action News that she has a 2-month-old baby.
Lusczynski said that the security guards were returning fire. They believe gunshots were coming from individuals in that car. HCSO has not stated whether or not they have confirmed this.
The security guards were identified as Keyon Williams and Connor Harm, both of whom hold a Florida Statewide Firearms “G” license and a State of Florida Security Officer “D” license.
The guards are employed by Eagle One Security Force, a Tampa-based security firm offering both armed and unarmed staff.
ABC Action News has learned, owner Andre Jennings is now fighting a negligence lawsuit following a gun battle in 2012 outside a Brandon night club. Court documents state Jennings fired several shots at an armed suspect outside the bar.
Back in 2012, deputies defended Jennings actions, saying he was forced to shoot. Returning fire, Jennings’ bullet struck an innocent witness, Alejandro Uribe.
“The bullet hit just above his ankle, shattered his femur, he had to have a rod installed from his knee going all the way down to his ankle,” said attorney John Andreopoulos, who is representing Uribe.
Andreopoulos believes Monday night’s shooting is another case of firearms negligence committed by Eagle One Security Force.
“From the top down, if the owner doesn’t have the training then how could he expect his employees to be trained any more?”
Deputies say that they do not know what the fights were about inside the club, only that they were physical altercations. Additionally, they do not know why the original firing started.
There were approximately 150 to 200 teens at the event, most of which fled before police arrived.
“I’m sure with gunshots going off people were in a panic,” Lusczynski said.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who may have seen something to please come forward. If you have information please call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 813-247-8200.