TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa police blockaded a neighborhood and searched with a SWAT team and dogs for a possible serial killer Tuesday after a fourth person was shot dead for no apparent reason.
Residents of the Seminole Heights neighborhood reported hearing shots just before 5 a.m. Tuesday. Officers quickly moved in, and found the body of Ronald Felton, 60, who had been walking across the street when a gunman came up behind him and fired, interim Police Chief Brian Dugan said.
“Our officers responded within seconds,” Dugan said, enabling them to quickly set up a perimeter around about a square mile area. SWAT officers could be seen patrolling the streets with rifles as they moved through yards.
“I believe that this person lives in this neighborhood,” Dugan added as he spoke with reporters at the scene. “And we need everyone’s cooperation; we need everyone to pay attention to what’s been going on.”
Dugan said that until his detectives can determine otherwise, Felton’s shooting will be treated as if it’s related to last month’s 10-day spree where three people were slain. The previous three victims were alone and had gotten off a bus in the neighborhood when they were gunned downed at night. None was robbed.
“This has got to stop,” Mayor Bob Buckhorn told a news conference on Tuesday. “We will hunt this person down until we find him.”
Cynthia Murray told The Tampa Bay Times that Felton had been living with her near the shooting scene. She said Felton was an unemployed construction worker who volunteered at the nearby food bank run by a church, which is just feet from where he was shot. She said he would go to the church at 2:30 a.m. to help.
“He didn’t need to come here every week but he loved it,” she said about Felton’s volunteer work. She said Felton and his twin brother Reggie were well known in the area.
“He was the sweetest person, never any problems,” his cousin, Linda Daniels, told the paper.
Dugan urged Seminole Heights residents to stay inside and prepare to share with police any potential detail that might be useful as the SWAT team and police dogs cleared properties. Police said the suspect is a thin black man, about 6-feet tall, wearing black clothing and carrying a large handgun. They are asking residents to examine video from any security cameras they have.
Seminole Heights is a working-class neighborhood northeast of downtown Tampa that’s slowly …read more
Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News