Two months before a toddler was shot in Riviera Beach, someone shot outside his family’s West Palm Beach home.
RIVIERA BEACH — The teen accused of shooting and critically injuring a 2-year-old boy in April was arrested weeks earlier following gunfire outside the toddler’s West Palm Beach home, recently released police records show.
West Palm Beach police say 17-year-old Tyquan Johnson ran when officers approached him the afternoon of Feb. 12 following gunfire in the north end of the city. They arrested him on a charge of resisting police and detained two other juveniles, although it is unclear if they were charged.
About 2 1/2 months later Johnson was arrested again — that time on attempted murder, aggravated child abuse and assault for reportedly shooting and nearly killing 2-year-old Tyrus Jones on the evening of April 23 on West Fifth Street in Riviera Beach.
As of Tuesday, the state had not charged Johnson as an adult, although Riviera Beach Police Chief Nathan Osgood said he expects the teen’s case to be moved to the county’s adult felony court.
Johnson’s mother on Tuesday declined to speak with The Palm Beach Post about her son’s arrest April 30 at his home in the Lake Belvedere Estates neighborhood west of the West Palm Beach city limits.
Records indicate the Feb. 12 shooting prompted Tyrus’ family to move out of its West Palm Beach home. Although no one was injured, the young boy’s mother feared the bullets were meant for her older children.
The boy’s mother made arrangements to leave Florida altogether. However, the coronavirus pandemic stalled those plans, and on the evening of April 23, the family was still in Palm Beach County.
More specifically, 2-year-old Tyrus and his mother were in the front seat of her car parked outside a home in Riviera Beach as she and her older son tried to jump-start the car’s battery, city police records state.
Shortly before 5:30 p.m., she instructed her older son to grab her cellphone from inside the home. Moments later, Johnson began shooting, a witness told police.
The city’s ShotSpotter system detected between 20 and 30 rounds, one of which went through the back of the toddler’s head and into his front temple.
Police officers didn’t wait for the city’s fire-rescue crews and instead rushed Tyrus to St. Mary’s Medical Center in a patrol car, likely saving the boy’s life, Osgood said.
Tyrus remains hospitalized but is showing signs of improvement, the family said Tuesday.
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