A 21-year-old aspiring football player turned himself in to Lauderhill police Wednesday to face a manslaughter charge.
Tyri Strong was playing with a gun in the backseat of a car when it went off and killed a man in the front seat, a prosecutor said Thursday at Strong’s first-appearance hearing in a Broward County courtroom.
“Strong was grossly negligent when handling the firearm which ultimately resulted in the death of … a human being,” his arrest warrant said.
Strong, of Miami, had attended Bethany College in West Virginia last fall where he was a freshman running back on the football team, but he didn’t stick around.
Football, football and more football dominated Strong’s interests, according to his Facebook page where he boasted about “Miami pride,” riffed on girlfriends he’d cheated on and vice versa and posted videos of himself practicing workout drills.
Strong’s biggest fear was failure. His reason to smile was life. He was in love with football, his dream vacation destination was the football field and his one wish was to be successful, according to a 2016 post.
The fatal shooting happened April 19 in front of a home in Lauderhill, according to an affidavit to arrest.
It was nearly 8:30 p.m. when police found a man who had been shot in the torso lying by a car, the affidavit said. Police withheld the victim’s name and age.
The critically injured man was taken to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale where he died, said Yvette Marquez-Perkins, a spokeswoman for the Lauderhill Police Department.
Two eyewitnesses detailed the shooting in sworn statements and a relative of the victim helped lead investigators to Strong, the affidavit said.
A team photo that included Strong, also known as Keem, was used to identify him as the shooter, police said. They did not specify what team it was.
Strong’s time at Bethany College, a private liberal arts school in northern West Virginia, was short-lived, the head football coach said.
“He left school after the first semester,” Coach William Garvey told the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Thursday.
The school tends to have a few Florida guys on its roster each year, he said, and Strong didn’t appear to be struggling with any issues while enrolled there.
“We’re a non-scholarship program,” Garvey said. “So finances come into play and being far away from home, and things like that,” he said.
According to the college team’s September 2018 roster, Strong’s hometown was listed as Florida City and his school was Chambers High in Homestead.
A Broward County judge set Strong’s bond at $100,000 Thursday morning. Strong now is being held in the Broward Main Jail.
“Mr. Strong was essentially playing with a firearm in the back seat of a vehicle directly behind the victim in this case,” prosecutor Eric Linder told the judge. “He removed a handgun from a holster that was on his side, he removed the magazine from the handgun and began to compress the trigger of the weapon multiple times while the weapon’s safety was activated.
“He then deactivated the weapon’s safety and began compressing the trigger a second time. It is at that point that the firearm fired one round striking the victim.”
While another passenger tried to render aid to the injured man, Strong walked away from the scene, Linder said.
Strong was the one who called the ambulance, Assistant Public Defender Hector Romero countered, adding that he also voluntarily turned himself in to police.
Investigators urge anyone with information about the shooting to contact Detective Derek Carseni, of the Lauderhill Police Department, at 954-497-4719.
Anonymous tips can be made to Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-43-8477.