Tampa Police increase patrols in Seminole Heights after three murders in less than two weeks

TAMPA, Fla - Patrols increase in Seminole Heights Saturday night, after three murders in less than two weeks. Police said these three people were killed at random. Officers are working to calm fears in the community and get the killer off the streets.

“I love it here, but this is scary, I mean it really is scary,” Philice Barker, who lives in Seminole Heights, said.

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

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“We barricade, 9 o’clock we’re in, doors locked, lights on outside, we’re watching movies, we’re not coming back out,” Barker said.

Barker and her family live blocks from the spot 32-year-old Monica Hoffa was found murdered. That’s not far from North 15th Street, where 20-year-old Anthony Naiboa and 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell were killed. Police officers are going door to door in the neighborhood Saturday night, letting people know they’re not alone.

“You can tell people are actually scared, so hopefully they have a little more comfort with us, you know we’ve got a lot of manpower out here right now,” Sgt. Robert Fannin with TPD said.

One big question, if anyone knows the person in a blurry video released by TPD. Police said this person was in the area of the first murder minutes before it happened and could have seen something. They’re asking every neighbor for help.

“I’ve never seen anything like this, really to tell you the truth, there’s no rhyme or reason,” Sgt. Fannin said.

They also bring a warning: don’t go out alone at night. Police said the killer is finding people who are vulnerable. If you do see something, call it in.

“It could be the littlest thing that solves this whole problem,” Sgt. Fannin said.

Digital billboards are going up all over the county. There is a community meeting Monday at Edison Elementary School at 6:30 p.m. on Monday.

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