TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa police are investigating a shooting that left two men dead and several others injured Thursday night.
Police said officers responded to a report of multiple gunshots fired in the 1200 block of E. Palifox St. They had received multiple calls.
"It kept going and going and going," said Timothy Schroyer, after hearing the shots.
Officers arrived to find multiple victims with gunshot wounds outside.
Police said two men were found dead and four others who had gunshot wounds were taken to a local hospital with what are believed to be not life-threatening, but serious injuries.
The Tampa Police Department says they're worried about the increased gun crime, especially in the East Tampa area.
“When it comes to gun violence, yes, there is a problem in East Tampa, I feel like not enough people care about it. I have spoken out about it several times, I have been called tone-deaf. These are interesting times,” said Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan.
TPD says gun crimes have increased significantly this year. Here are some recent crime stats from TPD:
- Since March, more than 100 people have been shot, and there have been 900 crimes involving a gun. That's up from 450 crimes involving a gun in 2019.
- There have been 40 murders in the City of Tampa jurisdiction this year, and 31 of those have involved gun violence. That is up from 25 murders in 2019.
- TPD has seized 150 guns this year, up from 100 guns seized in 2019.
"It's a huge concern. Gun crime is a huge concern. We need the community, anybody with information to step forward and give us information. We want this to be a safe neighborhood, a safe community, and a safe city and now we have six people who are gunshot victims," Tampa Police PIO Eddy Durkin said.
Patricia Brown, the mother of Devonte Brown, a 27-year-old man who was shot and killed in Tampa in March, spoke at a press conference Friday with the Tampa Police Department and begged community members to not be fearful of sharing information with police.
“It’s not about nobody snitching, it’s about telling what happened to somebody, cause it could’ve been your family, your child. To all the ones that are going through what I’m going through, don’t be afraid to speak up,” said Patricia Brown.
Police Chief Brian Dugan says TPD has the resources to solve these violent crimes, but it's going to take community members coming forward with information so that they can.
"We need the people in our neighborhoods to tell us what's going on. We need the people in our neighborhoods to say they've had enough, and that they're willing to step up and give us information and stop the violence," said Chief Dugan.
This is an ongoing investigation.
Police are asking anyone with information to call TPD at 813-276-3200, or you can leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 800-873-8477.