Tampa police are mobilizing to search for a serial killer after the deaths of three people in Seminole Heights.
On Wednesday, during a roll call with police officers in the neighborhood, mayor Bob Buckhorn told police, “This guy is not going to win.”
“He’s not taking over this neighborhood,” Buckhorn continued. “You guys go hunt him down and bring his head to me.”
Police have been patrolling for the past 10 days, ever since the first murder, and interim police chief Brian Dugan praised police efforts to bring “a sense of calmness, a sense of peace” back to the neighborhood.
“We’re going to shine a very, very bright light on this community,” he said.
The first victim, Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was shot on Oct. 9 while waiting for a bus near his home. Then, on Oct. 11, Monica Hoffa, 32, was shot as she was walking to go meet up with a friend. The third victim, Anthony Naiboa, was shot on Oct. 19 after he took the wrong bus home from work.
Police are actively looking for a person of interest seen on surveillance camera after Mitchell’s shooting running away from the scene, though Dugan stressed that the person was only a person of interest, not necessarily a suspect.
“We are not saying this person is a suspect. We believe this person saw or heard something that could be a key to solving these murders,” the department wrote in a Facebook post. “We believe this person has ties to the neighborhood.”
Police are also offering a $25,000 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest or conviction.