Evidence in Zombicon shooting shows night’s chaos and challenge of solving crime
Evidence in the Zombicon shooting shows what lengths investigators and prosecutors went to solve one of Fort Myers’ most notorious murders.
The Zombicon mass shooting ended the life of 20-year-old Expavious Tyrell Taylor and injured many others.
In an exclusive, WINK News shows you the panic, confusion and terror felt by the crowd of thousands who were spectators in downtown Fort Myers on Oct. 17, 2015, when gunshots rang out toward the end of Zombicon, a horror-themed annual festival.
Authorities arrested then 24-year-old Jose Bonilla in 2018 and charged him with the case. Bonilla, now 26, took a 30-year plea deal in 2020.
Prosecutor Dan Feinberg leads the cold case unit at the State Attorney’s Office Twentieth Judicial Circuit.
He and a task force took the case that had gone cold, went through each piece of evidence and arrested Bonilla.
“You have a crime scene that is completely trampled over by a number of people,” Feinberg said. “We found shell casings that were kicked 50 feet away from the shooting because they were kicking them with their shoes as they were running by.”
Feinberg said it wasn’t a good crime scene.
“Very little evidence came from the crime scene,” Feinberg said. “The best evidence was the actual shell casings which we recovered. And we don’t even know if we recovered all the shell casings.”
In addition to the shell casings, the evidence included Fort Myers police body camera video and surveillance footage near the shooting.
Body camera footage shows officers encountering costumed people, including a woman with fake blood on her, adding to the chaos.
“This case was solved based on the phones, based on his statements, admissions he made, both in jail to inmates and out of jail to people he knew,” Feinberg said.
Authorities used Bonilla’s cellphone to track him to downtown Fort Myers the night of the shooting. When he was in jail on an unrelated charge, he confessed to the shooting to an informant.
It was all recorded.
At first, Bonilla denied it was him on the jailhouse recording.
But then, almost 30 minutes into this interview with the FBI, he started to crack.
“I didn’t mean to shoot nobody,” he said. “They were walking up”
Bonilla said another man walked up with a gun so he pulled out his handgun and started firing.
“I did not mean to shoot and kill him. I swear to God I didn’t,” Bonilla said of Taylor.
Feinberg said he has to tune out when he is looking over cold cases like the Zombicon shooting that get so much attention.
He said he goes back to the beginning and looks over the evidence from scratch because you only get one chance.