A serial killer is currently plaguing the city of Tampa, Florida, and Mayor Bob Buckhorn has instructed Tampa Police with the following directive, “You guys go hunt him down. And bring his head to me, all right?” Mayor Buckhorn is none to pleased that his constituency is living in fear, and continued with, “We are going to hunt this son of a b*** down until we catch him.”
From October 9th, 2017, three people have been shot and killed in an area of Tampa within a mile of the Seminole Heights neighborhood. Tampa Police are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for these murders. Presently, the only evidence police have released to the public is a video of a person of interest fleeing the scene of the first murder. The subject’s face is not clearly visible but Tampa Police are hoping someone sees the video and perhaps recognizes the person’s clothing or other characteristics.
The video, which the Tampa Police have released, from October 9th, 2017, was the night that the first victim, Benjamin Mitchell, was murdered while waiting for the bus. In the video, the man can be seen walking at a normal pace, but after Benjamin Mitchell was shot, the same person can be seen running away from the scene.
Acting Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan is asking the public to view the video carefully with the hope that someone in the Seminole Heights neighborhood or surrounding area will recognize the person. In a press conference on Thursday, Chief Dugan said, “If that were me in that video, I have to believe that my neighbors would be able to identify me.”
The Tampa Police have been more subdued with their comments on this case, stating on their Facebook page, “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. We believe this person has ties to the neighborhood.”
Tampa Police have increased patrols, using officers on bicycles, on foot, and increased presence of patrol cars. Working with Tampa PD, the Tampa Electric Company has been cutting back overgrown foliage, fixing broken streetlights, and securing vacant homes, making it harder for this serial killer to go unnoticed.
The second victim, Monica Hoffa, 32, was shot and killed October 11th, 2017 at approximately 8:45pm while walking to meet a friend. Her body was discovered several days later in a parking lot.
The third victim, Anthony Naiboa, 20, was shot and killed October 19th, 2017. Mr. Naiboa took the wrong bus home from work. When Mr. Naiboa was shot, Tampa Police officers were in the area and heard the gunfire, but arrived on the scene too late to save Mr. Naiboa’s life.
In an effort to calm the public’s nerves, Mayor Bob Buckhorn has said he will be out on patrol with police officers during Halloween and other unspecified nights saying during a press conference, “I’m going to go out there. I’ll be personally on patrol, and you know what — if somebody wants to walk with me they can walk with me. I’ll walk with their family and get candy with them.” Mayor Buckhorn has also organizing a cooperative consisting of the Tampa Police Department, The Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The three murder victims do not have any connection with one another other than being killed in the same area. Attempting to crack the case, police and federal investigators have been going around the Seminole Heights neighborhood knocking on doors hoping to find someone who saw something relevant to the case.
Chief Brian Dugan also has a message for this serial killer: “Enough is enough. I don’t know what your motive is. I don’t know what your problem is. There’s been enough carnage. You have severely affected some families.”
Tampa interim Police Chief Brian Dugan talks about recent murders in Seminole Heights.
Posted by Tampa Bay Times on Friday, October 20, 2017
If you have information which could help the Tampa Police Department or recognize the person in the video police has released, you can call 813-231-6130.