Arrest made in murder of teen in Tampa

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – A double shooting in Tampa has left a 17-year-old dead and a 14-year-old injured Monday night.

Tampa Police have arrested 18-year-old Ronnie Thornton of Tampa in connection to the shooting that left 17-year-old Corey Gordon dead and 14-year-old Christopher Vilbreana with a non-life threatening gunshot wound.

Ronnie Thornton booking photo (Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office)
Ronnie Thornton booking photo (Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office)

Police say the shooting is not random and everyone involved knew each other.

According to police, the shooting occurred near 3614 Potter Street and E 21st Avenue just after 6 p.m. Monday. The two teens who were shot were found near the corner of 21st Avenue and 17th Street.

Witnesses said Thornton shot multiple times into the victims’ red Passat during an argument over stolen property, police say.

The car was found about one block away in the 21st block of Ybor Street with bullet holes on the right side. There were five people in the car at the time.

Ronnie Thornton has been charged with second-degree murder with a firearm, aggravated battery involving great bodily harm, delinquent in possession of a firearm, and shooting into an occupied vehicle.

“I pressed my lips to his lips and they were just getting cold,” said Angie Hernandez, a neighbor who heard the shooting and ran out  to the crime scene to try and save the 17-year-old’s life. “I felt helpless. Even though I was there to help, I still felt like I wasn’t doing enough.”

After having been a nurse for 10 years, she did her best to give him CPR but it didn’t work. It was her first instinct to run and help him. “Somebody’s shot,” she recalled saying to herself. “I have to do something.”

Moments later, police converged on the scene. News Channel 8 was there as investigators went door to door interviewing witnesses. Some neighbors say they’re not surprised about the violence.

“I hear bullets all the time,” said Kevin Fisher who lives one block away from where the two victims were found. “I hear bullets all the time in this neighborhood. It’s common.”

As for Angie Hernandez, she has three kids of her own and her house has been in the family for decades. This shooting is one more reason why she wants to protect her kids as best she can. “The boy was so young and it could have been my son,” she said. “I have an 18-year-old and it could have been him. So it was very real. It was just very real. All I could do was breathe and pray. Just try and breathe for him and pray that God gives him another chance.”

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