V.M. Ybor residents demand more action from police following multiple shootings

Residents call neighborhood a "war zone"
Posted at 6:10 PM, Nov 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-13 18:10:17-05

It is the sound of violence residents in the historic V.M. Ybor neighborhood have become unwilling expert witnesses to.

"It was rapid fire," says one homeowner recounting the Friday night drive by shooting.

"I'm guessing it was a semi automatic because it went..bang bang bang bang bang," says another resident.

"Just Friday at 2:20 we had someone careen around this corner shooting. Came by my home shooting. Me and my animals had to get on the ground. These things are happening on a biweekly basis at this point," recounts Lizz Cannon.

She called us to take action, because she says so far Tampa police have not.

"I feel like the police often respond when you call them with 'well you chose to live in that neighborhood so the gun violence is just part and parcel,'" she says.

The residents of  V.M. Ybor tell ABC Action News the increase police presence in Seminole Heights following three murders there has created a crime vacuum in V.M. Ybor.


"You’ve got these gangs just are taking over blocks .I would say the area I live in has turned into a war zone," says one homeowner who did not want us to use his name for fear of retaliation.

It may feel like a war zone, but it's also home, where neighbors still look out for each other.

"We’ve developed some wonderful friendship with our neighbors. And you can't say that about a lot of areas," says Cannon who points out that while most of V.M. Ybor is peaceful, it's an isolated area of drug dealers that attracts outside trouble and drive by shootings.

 ABC Action News reached out to Tampa Police.

They confirm they have had several reports of gunfire in the past month, but no actual shootings  and no noticeable up-tick in the frequency of the gunfire reports.

They also say without a good description of the suspect or the car, it's very difficult to track down whoever is shooting.

As for the the claim that the Seminole Heights situation has "diminished resources" in V.M. Ybor...they say that's simply not true.