TAMPA — A Florida veteran has been charged with gunning down his girlfriend and her 10-year-old son after getting into a fight over changing the channel to watch a football game, police said.
Tyrone Terell Johnson, 42, told cops that his girlfriend, Stephanie Willis, 34, started yelling at him when he changed the channel on Sunday evening to the game.
He told officers the fight moved into the bedroom where he had gone to pack up his belongings and called his father to come pick him up the following day. When he started using a knee roller to exercise a leg he recently had surgery on, he claimed Willis began “tussling” from behind, pushing him off.
Cops say Johnson told them that he sat down on the floor next to the bed, when the boy, Ricky Willis, approached and accused him of hitting his mother. Johnson said he pushed the boy out of the way, pulled out a Glock and shot at his girlfriend as she stood with a Playstation console in her hands, cops said.
He said the boy left the bedroom when the gunfire began, but then returned, so Johnson opened fire on him as well, police said.
“The defendant advised he kept firing and alluded to firing at victim no. 2 while he was on the ground,” the police report stated.
He then called 911 and said he shot two people “because he was being attacked,” the report said.
But cops are doubtful of all the details of Johnson’s after finding the boy’s blood underneath his bed in his bedroom, rather than in the master bedroom where he claimed the entire shooting had taken place.
Johnson is being held without bail on charges of first-degree felony murder, second-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and shooting into or within a building.
Military records show Johnson served in the U.S. Marines from 1994 to 1998 and rose to the rank of corporal. His specialty is listed as field artillery cannoneer.
Johnson then spent four years in the U.S. Army from 1998 to 2002, reaching the rank of sergeant and specializing as a cannon crew member, records show. The records say he had no deployments during that time.