Today Jose Raul Bonilla was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder of 20 year old Expavious Tyrell Taylor and the shooting of 5 other people at the “Zombicon” event in Downtown Fort Myers in October 2015. The sentence has a 25 year minimum mandatory, meaning the defendant will serve that time day by day.
Bonilla opened fire at the street festival with thousands of citizens in attendance. In just seconds, the lives of so many were changed and a young man on a break from college, he was attending on a football scholarship, lost his life.
This has been a case unlike any other, due to the many people who were attending the large outdoor Zombicon festival, estimated at 20,000 people, as well as with so many attending wearing zombie costumes. Many were wearing fake blood and carrying fake firearms as part of their costumes. When the shooting started, people ran for cover causing even more chaos at the scene.
The FBI and the Fort Myers Police Department were the collaborative lead agencies in investigating this crime. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office led by Sheriff Carmine Marceno, Collier County Sheriff’s Office led by Sheriff Kevin Rambosk, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement also assisted in this large, detailed, investigation. Members of the State Attorney’s Office worked with our law enforcement partners to put together the case.
They looked at surveillance video from cameras and spoke to many potential witnesses. The dedication to the case and review of the evidence led to the defendant early on, as a suspect. More work by the FBI and Fort Myers Police Department led to Bonilla’s arrest after Bonilla spoke to multiple people about what he had done.
“I want to thank each of these agencies for the focus they have given and patience, to putting this case together so that it could be prosecuted. Today’s plea agreement alleviates the victims and their families from having to live through the details of this crime again,” said State Attorney Amira Fox.
State Attorney Fox, Assistant State Attorney Dan Feinberg, and Assistant State Attorney Tyler Lovejoy handled this case.
State Attorney’s Office