Warwickshire man shot dead on holiday

A young man from the Midlands has been shot dead while on holiday with his family in Florida.

25 year old James Cooper from Warwick and his friend 24 year old James Kouzaris were found by police in the city of Sarasota, on the south-western coast, in the early hours of Saturday morning.

One man was found lying on the ground outside a government-assisted housing block.

The second victim was discovered moments later, lying just 50ft away on the other side of the road.

Both men were pronounced dead at the scene from gunshot wounds, a Sarasota Police spokesman said.

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with two counts of murder.

Both Mr Cooper nad Mr Kouzaris had been staying on the upmarket island city of Longboat Key, about 12 miles from the less affluent area where they were killed.

Captain Paul Sutton of Sarasota police said there was no known association between the suspect and the victims.

The area where they were found is known to be largely residential and not frequented by tourists.

``We are still investigating why they would have been in this area,'' Capt Sutton said.

``It is very unusual to find tourists or visitors in this area. It is a residential neighbourhood with no shops and no bars. We do not know what brought them here at 3am.''

A Foreign Office spokesman said:

``We can confirm the deaths of two British nationals on holiday in Sarasota on April 16.

``Next of kin have been informed and consular staff are providing assistance.

``Sarasota Police have launched an investigation and have made an arrest. We cannot comment further on the investigation.''

James Cooper worked at Inspire2Coach - where he gave tennis tuition.

His directors Mark Tennant and Richard Marklow have described how they are feeling in a statement:

We are truly saddened by the sudden death of our friend
and colleague James Cooper. James and his friend were
shot dead whilst on holiday in Florida.

James was a young tennis coach and a key full time member of the
inspire2coach team. He had recently been promoted to a
Head Coach role within the company, which he was due to
start on his return from holiday.

James was a graduate from University of Sheffield and a
Warwickshire County tennis player. He was currently on
his LTA Senior Coach course, and was due to complete his
final assessment in a few weeks time.

We will remember James with great fondness, as a great
guy, as a talented tennis coach, a committed team member,
and above all, a close friend. We shall all miss him very
much and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult
time.