msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 4/18/2011 2:29:34 PM ET 2011-04-18T18:29:34

A 16-year-old boy is accused of killing two British tourists in a high-crime neighborhood of a Florida city better known for its white beaches and waterfront condominiums.

Twenty-five-year-old James M. Cooper and 24-year-old James Thomas Kouzaris were found shot to death around 3 a.m. Saturday.

Police found the two men after responding to a 911 call that a man had collapsed on a street in the Newton neighborhood and was covered in blood, the Sun-Sentinal newspaper reported on its website. The body of the other man was found across the street.

About 20 shell casings were also discovered in the area, the paper reported.

The boy has not identified because he is a juvenile. Prosecutors have until May 8 to decide if he will be charged as an adult.

The slayings occurred near a public-housing complex of low-slung cinder-block apartment buildings north of downtown Sarasota.

Investigators were trying to determine why the men were in the neighborhood, which doesn't have any of the usual tourist attractions and is a few miles away from Longboat Key, the oceanfront island where they were staying.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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