Tampa Police: Anyone could be a suspect after three murders in Seminole Heights

TPD: Anyone could be a suspect in killings
Posted at 11:20 PM, Oct 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-24 06:17:33-04

Fearful residents in Seminole Heights spoke out during a community crime meeting Monday, two weeks since the first neighborhood murder was committed. 

"I've never had this feeling before, ever," said Angel Wyre. "We can't go out, it's not safe."

It was an overflow crowd as hundreds of people packed inside Edison Elementary's auditorium, desperate for answers from city leaders. 

"My nephew was taken at a very young age and I would never see him grow into the young man he should have been," said Benjamin Mitchell's aunt.  

The large turnout served as a hopeful reminder for the family of Anthony Naiboa, an innocent 20-year-old with autism who was killed Thursday, police say, simply because he got off on the wrong bus stop. 

"We're not alone, they're supporting us and they're actually helping us stand up and encouraging, not only our families that are hurt, but everyone else in the community to do what is best," said Anthony's stepmother, Maria Rodriguez. 

Tampa police investigators have little information to go on in their investigations into a possible serial killer terrorizing the Southeast Seminole Heights community. Three people have been shot and killed within ten blocks in as many days. 

The only clue of a potential killer is grainy surveillance video that shows someone walking in the area of North 15th Avenue and Frierson Avenue just minutes after 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell was killed at a bus stop.  

"That's how we're going to catch this guy; good neighbors telling police officers, good police work, and we will hunt this son of a b**** down until we find him," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "To say 'not in my community, not now, not ever.' Goodness is going to win this, not evil." 

Interim Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan stressed yet again that residents should not go outside alone, always walk in groups. 

"This pains me to tell you that if you're out there walking alone, that you're either a suspect or a potential victim," said Dugan. 

The president of the Southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood association says they are working to increase the current $25,000 reward offered through Crime Stoppers.