Billboards to help in hunt for suspected killer

"It's going to be very difficult for Demetrius Parks to hide," said Tampa Police spokesperson Laura McElroy. 
 
Thirty digital billboards in the Tampa Bay Area now display Parks's mug shot and information on a $16,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. 
 
Parks is wanted for allegedly shooting and killing Family Dollar manager and Army veteran Horsely Shorter during a botched robbery Sunday.  Horsely was killed after jumping in to protect a co-worker.  
 
"We know he's dangerous and a threat to our community. He gunned down a good man for no reason at all," said McElroy. 
 
The Hillsborough State Attorney's office confirmed a total of 14 felony charges on Parks and 16 misdemeanors, most of them as a juvenile.  Three of them are felony convictions on weapons charges.
 
"Most of those crimes are property crimes, grand theft, burglary.  He's often a felon in possession of a weapon. This is the first time he's used that weapon and taken a life," said McElroy. 
 
Parks just finished a three-year stint in prison on those felony convictions.
 
Tampa attorney Joe Episcopo weighed in on why Parks was a free man and able to allegedly commit murder.
 
"He started as a juvenile. And of course, juvenile sentences aren't that severe," said Episcopo.  "He progressed into felonies as an adult, and eventually got a three-year minimum mandatory that bundled a bunch of his crimes.  He did do time on the felony convictions.  In a lot of the cases, the charges were dropped, all kinds of reasons for that.  The witnesses aren't that good." 
 
Tampa police and the US Marshals have set up a tip line at 813-309-0467.
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