BARTOW, Fla. — The Polk County Sheriff's Office said two 16-year-olds have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder related to the shooting of a Bartow 17-year-old, and at least two suspects are still wanted.
Sheriff Grady Judd described the murder of Taigur Taguri as, "horrible," and an "ambush," during a press conference Wednesday. Judd said Taguri was shot multiple times as he sat in the driver's seat of a truck on Monday night at Gordon Heights Park. Judd said Taguri was at the park with a 19-year-old girl and was going to meet up with some guys to sell them marijuana.
Judd said on Wednesday that authorities have determined the suspects planned to rob Taguri.
Judd said, according to the witness with Taguri, at least four Black males approached the truck. Authorities said one suspect opened the driver's side door and another opened the passenger's door, and both fired multiple shots at Taguri.
"They ambushed and murdered this young man," Judd said.
The sheriff's office said Taguri could be heard saying “no” and “don’t" when the doors were opened. The passenger with him was not injured. After the shooting, authorities said the suspects ran from the scene. Judd said at least three to four people are believed to be involved. ABC Action News is not naming the two suspects in custody, or showing their mugshots, because they are underage.
Both 16-year-old suspects, who are area high school students, are charged with first-degree murder. At this time, Judd said they're being charged as juveniles though the sheriff's office is asking the state attorney to consider charging them as adults. Authorities said the suspects were located Tuesday at a home on Gause Street in Bartow near the park where the homicide happened.
A gun that was found in the bedroom of one of the arrested teenagers matched shell casings found at the scene, Judd said Wednesday.
The sheriff's office says one of the suspects was identified when detectives discovered and were provided with several names of people Taguri was talking to on social media. Judd said both of the arrested teens are "self-proclaimed gang members."
At his Wednesday press conference, Judd said the sheriff's office will not stop until all the people involved are in custody.
"We're not stopping, we're going to hold everyone accountable," the sheriff's said on Wednesday.
Judd asked the community to continue helping authorities by providing information.
"We're offering a $5,000 cash reward," Judd told the gathered media, "and if you didn't shoot into the car, and were just part of the robbery; we want the ones that are responsible for the murder."
Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
If you have any information about this investigation and wish to remain anonymous, contact Heartland Crime Stoppers - call 1-800-226 TIPS (8477), dial **TIPS from your cell phone, visit the www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com and click on "Submit A Tip," or download the free "P3tips" app on your smartphone or tablet.