TAMPA (CBSMiami/AP) – The message from Tampa police is clear: “We need names, not speculation” in figuring out who committed three murders in the Seminole Heights neighborhood.
Tampa Interim Police Chief Brian Dugan released new surveillance video Thursday which he says is related to the three fatal and apparently random shootings.
The video was taken October 9, the night of the first shooting in Tampa. It shows a person in a hooded top running away from the neighborhood within seconds of the murder of Benjamin Mitchell.
The subject in the video is considered a person of interest, Dugan said.
The video shows the person walking down the street and checking their phone before stepping out of frame. Later, they’re seen running.
Dugan said there are four scenarios as to why that person is running: they’re late for dinner, exercising, heard gunshots or “they just murdered Benjamin Mitchell.”
“The video we are releasing today, it gives us more than enough information that somebody should be able to identify this person,” Dugan said.
The video is separate from one released on Oct. 13, which shows a man who could help solve the Oct. 9 homicide of Benjamin Mitchell.
Police are also investigating the murders of Monica Caridad Hoffa on Oct. 11 and Anthony Naiboa on Oct. 19.
Anthony Naiboa, 20, was shot after taking the wrong bus home from his new job. Police patrolling in the neighborhood actually heard the gunshots and rushed to the scene to find Naiboa dead.
Tampa’s mayor told police officers this week to hunt the suspect down and “bring his head to me.”
All three victims, who didn’t know each other, rode the bus and were alone when they were shot on the street, authorities said. None of the victims was robbed.
Over the past few weeks, Tampa Electric Co. and public works teams have been cutting foliage, boarding up vacant buildings and replaced burnt-out street lights in the area. Police have asked residents to keep porch lights on in the neighborhood at night.
The chief promised nervous parents that the community will be safe for Halloween next week.
“I’m gonna go out there,” he said. “I’ll be personally on patrol, and you know what? If somebody wants to walk with me, they can walk with me. I’ll walk with their family and get candy with them. I might even take some of their candy.”
The reward has been increased to $35,000 offered by Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay and the ATF for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the killings.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)