Seminole Heights community thanks first responders for their work

TAMPA, Fla. - The Seminole Heights community hosted an appreciation dinner for first responders Monday.

“I live here. I work here. This community has done so much for me. It’s time to give back [to] them [and take] care of all these guys and women who have been taking care of our neighborhood,” Chris Zoller said.

Zoller lives in the neighborhood and volunteered today.

“We’re very happy to have them here taking care of us and, you know, it is scary, but you know we got this,” Zoller said.

The dinner was held at Seminole Heights United Methodist Church on N Central Avenue between 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

A number of agencies have worked countless hours, since October 9, to try to catch the Seminole Heights killer. Four people were murdered, walking alone, in the neighborhood. Tampa Police Detectives need to identify a suspect, who they have surveillance video of, the day two of the victims were killed.

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“They know that they are not alone. That they are not going through this by themselves. That there is [a] community that is 100 percent behind them [and] supports them. We’ll do anything in the world that we can to ease their sorrow. I don’t think you can ever erase it,” Brian Frey, the president of the Hampton Terrace Community Association, said.

Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said they are thankful for the support of the community. 

"When you look at everything we've been going through, the community has rallied behind the police department. They've rallied together. It’s just a great feeling,” Chief Dugan said.

The department has received 4,000 tips, since their investigation started. The reward is now more than $100,000 for information that leads to an arrest. If anyone has any information, they need to call Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 873-TIPS.

“Even though this isn’t over yet, it represents an opportunity for us to say thank you to them for the work that they are doing, for the countless hours they are putting in, for their dedication and for their resolve,” Frey said.

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