A TEENAGER has been convicted of murdering two former Sheffield University students shot dead on a holiday in Florida.
Shawn Tyson aged 24, was found guilty of killing James Kouzaris, 24 and James Cooper, 25, who were gunned down after they mistakenly walked into a rundown housing estate in in the early hours of April 16 last year after a night out.
The graduates became friends after meeting at Sheffield University, where they were studying for degrees.
Tyson, who has just turned 17, avoided the death penalty because of his age and instead was given two life sentences.
If he had been 18 when he committed the murders he could have been given the death penalty.
The killer, who sports a tattoo of the word ‘savage’ on his chest, will spend his life in prison without parole.
He had only been released from juvenile detention a day before he killed the Sheffield graduates.
Tyson had been arrested on April 7 for shooting at a car, but because of an administrative error was released on April 15.
Less than 24 hours later he shot Mr Cooper, a tennis coach from Hampton Lucy, near Warwick, and Mr Kouzaris, a town planner from Northampton.
In a joint statement, their families said: “It is a fact that we were given a life sentence when our sons were so brutally and needlessly taken from us.
“Ours is a life sentence, with no chance of parole from a broken heart, and a shattered soul.
“The agonising and searing pain we have experienced will continue until our sentence is at an end. The evil of the killer is one thing, but the fact is, he would not have been on the streets had instructions to keep him incarcerated been passed from one judge to another.”