Community support in Seminole Heights grows amid murder investigation

17 November, 2017, 02:04 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • SEE IT: Tampa police release new footage of suspect in Seminole Heights killings

"Our sense is that there are people who are very anxious in our community, particularly those who might be sleeping on the streets, so we expanded our capacity in our shelter last night", said Captain Andy Miller, Area Commander for the Salvation Army of Tampa.

The suspect in the killing has been described as a slim black man, about 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall, with a light complexion, authorities said. They're also asking for anyone with surveillance cameras in the area to check to see if it recorded anything that could be helpful. "I repeat, were are now calling this person a suspect and we need to know who this person is". He appeared in footage from the night of October 9, when Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was killed.

The reward for information leading to the killer's arrest has been raised to $91,000 thanks to funds donated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan believes that the suspect is a resident of the Seminole Heights neighborhood. He was wearing all black and a black baseball cap and armed with a large black pistol, police said.

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Police said they believe those three killings were committed by the same person. "When I spoke to her, she said, 'If our officer had been five seconds earlier, he would've been able to stop it'".

His murder, in the city's Seminole Heights neighborhood, is close to where three other people were murdered in apparently random shootings. "Just come later." He said.

Dugan said his department is not using the term serial killer because investigators are not completely convinced all four shooting deaths are connected. Then, on October 13, Tampa city workers found the body of Monica Hoffa, 32, in an empty field.

Dugan released video showing the suspect, taken moments before Felton was killed, and urged the public to come forward and identify him.

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Then on October 19, Anthony Naiboa, a 20-year-old man with autism, was killed in the southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood after taking the wrong bus home from work. "Look at what you're taking away from this world: people that were going to flourish and be something about themselves, or were helping people or were doing things for this world".

The murder of Felton has again put the neighborhood on edge.

Police have also ordered residents to keep their porch lights on between the hours of 6pm and 6am, since the killer strikes under the cover of darkness. "They could be perfectly innocent, but I don't think so".

She said she exchanged text messages with neighbors who, like her, were in their homes looking on as cops investigated the killing.

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