Reward Rises to $91,000 in Tampa Serial Killer Case as Cops Say Man Caught on Video Is Their Suspect
Police in Florida have more than doubled their reward in the hunt for a possible serial killer that has left a community gripped in fear.
Previously just a person of interest, Tampa police say the man shown in video clips made public in their investigation into the eerily similar shootings of four people since October within a one-mile radius is, indeed, their suspect.
Police have also increased the reward for information leading to the suspect's capture to $91,000.
Tampa police have released new video that was captured minutes before the murder of 60-year-old Ronald Felton, the fourth in the string of slayings.
"I want people to look at the video. I want people to see how this person walks," Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said.
Felton was gunned down early Tuesday morning just blocks away from a memorial for three other victims who were shot to death within a two-week span in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa last month.
He was reportedly on his way to church when someone allegedly "came up from behind and shot him," police said.
"We are treating it as though it is related until we rule otherwise," Dugan said during a news conference Tuesday.
Police said the suspect in the case is a slim black man, 6 to 6-foot-2-inches tall, with a light complexion and armed with a large black pistol. He was last seen wearing black clothing.
Police, who have been heavily present in the area since the previous murders, arrived to the shooting scene within seconds of the 5 a.m. murder.
“We do have a witness,” Dugan said. “When I spoke to her, she said, ‘If our officer had been five seconds earlier, he would've been able to stop it.’"
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn added: “This has got to stop. We will hunt this person down until we find them... We need to catch this killer before we have to notify one more family that their loved one is dead."
The first killing took place Oct. 9 when 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell was shot while waiting for a local bus. Then, on Oct. 13, Tampa city workers found the body of Monica Hoffa, 32, in an empty field. Police said she was also shot.
On Oct. 19, 20-year-old Anthony Naiboa, who had autism, was shot and killed just 50 ft. away from where Mitchell had been slain.
Authorities had originally offered a $41,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).