Seminole Heights on high alert following 3 murders

Cheryl Sanders
October 22, 2017

Dugan said he was frustrated that officers did not catch the killer on Thursday night despite deploying a helicopter, SWAT team, and K9s.

Florida authorities are looking for a suspect they believe has been responsible for three homicides within one Tampa neighborhood over the past several days. "He was in the prime of his life and was taken instantly".

A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

In a frightful occurrence, Naiboa's body was found on the sidewalk near the home where the killer's first victim, Benjamin Mitchell, 22, lived on North 15th Street.

Fox News reported that police released surveillance footage showing an individual walking in the vicinity of the most recent crime scene and are hoping it will help identify a suspect in the case.

Police heard the shots that killed Naiboa.

Interim Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said in a media statement Friday that all the evidence points to a connection between the three crimes. The second murder happened on October 13 a few blocks away, when the body of Monica Hoffa was discovered in a vacant lot.

Tampa police say they have no leads, and can't determine a motive.

"It's the most very bad feeling that you can feel, that you know that your child is dead, and you have these people [are] coming to let you know, to confirm for you", said Maria Rodriguez, Naiboa's stepmother. She was shot and killed.

Though police are as yet unsure of a motive, Dugan said the proximity and timing of Naiboa's death and two others make it clear that the incidents are connected. "If that brings attention to this, that's fine".

Investigators reportedly found a man near where Mitchell was murdered on surveillance video, and are now in search of him. "Like me, I'm scared to come around this area now", she said.

For the last week and a half, the mood in Seminole Heights has changed.

Police have cautioned residents against walking alone, especially at night, and also urged them to leave their porch and security lights on at night.

A heavy police presence will continue there, Dugan said, adding that the area has been "blanketed" with officers. "I go from frustration to anger (over) these unsolved homicides, and now we have someone terrorizing the neighborhood". Police have not called the person - who appears to be a man - a suspect, but they do want to speak with him.

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

Other reports by iNewsToday