Seminole Heights residents hold vigil for murder victims

Seminole Heights residents hold vigil for murder victims

Interim Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan told "FOX & Friends Weekend" that the only link between the three victims was that each one was all alone at the time of their murder.

The deaths took place in the same neighborhood over the past 10 days, prompting Tampa police to warn residents in the Seminole Heights neighborhood not to walk alone at night.

Dugan asked the public to look at surveillance video of a man who was walking in the area on October 9 when Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was killed.

The shooter murdered a third victim, 20-year-old Anthony Naiboa, on Thursday night in the Seminole Heights neighborhood, police said.

Crime Stoppers Tampa Bay is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the identification and arrests of the unknown suspect or suspects involved in the homicide cases.

'You can imagine the frustration of these officers to hear gunshots and not be able to find this person, ' Dugan said at the conference. "He was already dead when our police officers came upon him".

"This is very frustrating", Dugan said. Monica Hoffa, 32, was shot and killed near the intersection of East New Orleans Avenue and North 10th Street on October 5.

Naiboa's murder happened between 200-300 yards of Mitchell's house, according to Dugan. Our officers found Anthony Naiboa out there. Naiboa was shot dead as he walked back. So far, the murderer seems to ambush victims, coming on them abruptly with a gun.

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"You can tell people are actually scared, so hopefully they have a little more comfort with us, you know we've got a lot of manpower out here right now", Sgt. Robert Fannin with TPD said.

Dugan described Mitchell to be "a good person who comes from a good family", and said that although Hoffa "had some challenges in her life", police still have "no reason to believe there was motive to kill her".

"We've gotten some tips", said Tampa police spokesman Steve Hegarty. "So, you just stay in the house", Dupree said.

Although cops won't say outright they suspect a serial killer, they believe the three murders are linked. "If that brings attention to this, that's fine".

Naiboa's parents called police when their son, a recent high school graduate, did not return home from work on Thursday night. "We can call it what we want".

Last year, there was one murder in Seminole Heights and 14 shootings. "We're going door to door and chatting with people".

But even for those who do not have information, Dugan urged residents to stand up to whoever is victimizing the neighborhood.

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