Two 16-year-old Florida cousins have been arrested on Tuesday, June 8 for allegedly shooting a 17-year-old marijuana dealer to death during a drug deal ambush at a public park in Bartow, local authorities confirmed. 


The victim has been identified as Taigur Taguri, 17, a George Jenkins High student. The teen was shot dead at Gordon Heights Park around 9:40 p.m. Monday night by four suspected assailants.

Two of the suspects, both 16 years old and cousins, were tracked down to a home in Gause Street, Bartow. The young perpetrators were apprehended as they face several charges, including first-degree murder, reported Fox News. Two other suspects remain at large.


Taguri and his girlfriend, 19, reportedly drove to Gordon Heights Park near Bartow on Monday night, June 7, with intent to sell marijuana to a buyer the teen was exchanging messages with via social media.

As the two arrived at the area and parked their car around 9:40 p.m., a group of unidentified people approached the vehicle, law enforcement said. The victim had thought the individuals were walking up to buy marijuana, however, the group proceeded to pull out a gun on Taguri and her female companion.

Witnesses reported hearing Taguri screaming "No!" and "Don't!" as the assailants proceeded to forcefully open his car's doors before opening fire on the victim and his girlfriend. The woman with him was not injured in the shooting, reported WFLA-TV.

After being fatally shot, a disoriented Taguri reportedly accelerated his truck causing the vehicle to crash into a fence and playground equipment. Taguri died on the scene before law enforcement could be summoned. The shooters fled the area shortly after.

Sheriff Grady Judd confirmed that Taguri was a high school student. He also noted that one of the 16-year-old suspects is an 11th-grade student at Bartow High School and his cousin, also 16 and also a suspected shooter, is an 11th-grade student at Fort Meade Middle-Senior.


“It makes me angry. It makes me completely angry that we’ve got kids killing kids and kids shooting kids and we’ve seen that two weeks in a row now. It makes me so angry I want to pluck my eyeballs out one at a time. But we’re going to stop this and we’re going to hold people accountable,” Judd added.


Shell casings obtained from the crime scene reportedly matched the casting from a handgun recovered at one suspect’s house, authorities said. Judd explained that he wants the 16-year-old suspects to be charged as adults due to the brutality of the crime.


"It’s cold-blooded first-degree murder," he said.


One of the teen suspects was previously arrested for a robbery in 2017, according to the Sheriff's Department. He now faces felony charges of first-degree murder, attempted armed robbery, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, in addition to drug and firearms misdemeanors. The other suspect has been charged with first-degree murder, attempted armed robbery, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, all felonies.


The police also reportedly found methamphetamine and marijuana at the suspect’s home, as well as another handgun.  The father of one of the teen suspects, 47-year-old Jevon Berrien Sr., was also allegedly arrested for the possession of drugs and a handgun. Barrien Sr. had prior felony convictions in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Florida and had been barred from using handguns, reported WESH.


"I would say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Had [the suspect] been provided the appropriate role mode, we may not be in the position we are in today," Judd told reporters.

Taigur Taguri Two 16-year-old Florida cousins have been nabbed on Tuesday, June 8 for allegedly shooting and killing 17-year-old marijuana dealer Taigur Taguri to death at a park in Bartow. Polk County Sheriffs Office