Police trying to ID man at scene of security officer murder

TAMPA, Fla - Tampa police have released photos of a man seen riding a bicycle left at the scene of the murder of a security officer gunned down Thanksgiving Eve.

Michael Valentin, 38, was working at the Grande Oaks Apartments, when he was shot and killed.  Police do not know who pulled the trigger or why.

Detectives are trying to identify the man and speak with him, according to Tampa PD spokesperson Andrea Davis.

The images were captured on a surveillance camera at the Grand Oaks Apartments.

Police also released photos of the bike, noting the unusual seat.

As Tampa police collect evidence and work leads, Valentin's employer, Critical Intervention Services, is helping his family grieve.

"We are in contact with them daily, supporting them and the boys through really rough times," said CIS CEO Casey Poulin.

The married father of two had only  been on the job about a month.  He had recently moved to the Tampa area from Brooklyn where he worked for 10 yeasr as a Peace officer for the New York City Homeless Services Police.  When Valentin left the department, he held the rank of sergeant.  Valentin successfully complete his CIS training in October 2012.

CIS is a private security company.

"I don't think the officers are scared being out there since this incident but there is no doubt they're in shock," Poulin added.

Poulin said Valentin, like his fellow officers, was armed and did have protective gear on when he was shot.

"The risks are there and their is no way you can eliminate all risk.  You can train and do the best you can but unfortunately sometimes the worst occurs," Poulin said.

ABC Action News did reach out to Valentin's family but did not hear back.

"Obviously, this is a very tough time for them, around the holidays, he is a father, he's a husband which makes it more tragic," Davis said.

Grande Oaks residents are also mourning Valentin's loss.

Vanessa Collins fought through her tears to leave a teddy bear, card and Thanksgiving meal in the spot Valentin was slain.

"We love him and we are going to miss him," said Collins.

Anyone with information about the bicycle or its owner is asked to contact Tampa police at (813) 231-6130.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments