Police are pleading for the public’s help in identifying a man who is a person of interest in a series of murders in a Tampa neighborhood.
“We need names, not speculation,” Interim Police Chief Brian Dugan said at a press conference Thursday.
Three people have been shot to death within 10 days in the Seminole Heights area, leaving residents fearful that a serial killer is on the loose.
In an emotional address, Mayor Bob Buckhorn told cops at Wednesday’s roll call, “You guys go hunt him down, and bring his head to me.”
New video released Thursday shows a man walking, and then running, near the spot where 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell was killed on Oct. 9. His was the first homicide in the trio of slayings.
Dugan said there four possibilities to account for the running man: Being late for dinner, exercising, hearing gunshots or “they just murdered Benjamin Mitchell.”
The second shooting occurred Oct. 13, when the body of 32-year-old waitress Monica Caridad Hoffa was found in a vacant parking lot. She had been shot, police said.
Last Thursday, Anthony Naiboa, a 20-year-old with a mild form of autism, was shot to death after he accidentally got on the wrong bus and wound up in Seminole Heights.
The killings all took place near bus stops and within a one-mile radius, police said.
“This guy is not going to win," the mayor said. "He’s not taking over this neighborhood. He’s not takin' over these streets."
Chief Dugan assured frightened parents that trick-or-treating will take place as usual, albeit with a heavy police presence. Dugan said he will “personally be on patrol” that night.