British holiday-makers shot dead in Florida

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Mysterious gangland killing

James Cooper, 25 of Warwickshire and James Kouzaris, 24 from Northampton were on holiday visiting family and friends in the upmarket island city of Longboat Key, Sarasota, Florida.

The boys had met at Sheffield University and were staying with Cooper’s family, James Cooper was shot dead three days after 25th birthday.

James who was a regular holiday maker had previously travelled to Taiwan, Ecuador, Argentina and Vietnam, as seen in pictures released from his Facebook profile.

Police are treating this case as a murder, and have called this story strange, as the victims were 12 miles away from where they were staying. Their bodies were found in the early hours of Saturday morning in an area of Sarasota called NewTown, notorious for gangs, drugs and social depravation.

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Officers found the first body surrounded by 20 shell casings and the next body 50 feet away, locals said they heard what sounded like a machine gun fire.

Police have said the area in which the bodies were found in was a well known gangland area and does not know why the travellers were in the area at 3am on Saturday morning.

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