TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa police officers are asking Seminole Heights residents to stay inside after the body of an adult male was found in a street early Tuesday morning.
The crime scene is a few blocks away from a memorial that honors three people who were shot and killed in Seminole Heights. The killer has not yet been caught.
Tampa Police Department spokesperson Steve Hegarty said that police officers were patrolling in Seminole Heights on Tuesday morning when a 911 call was received at 4:51 a.m. about shots fired.
It only took police officers one minute to arrive at North Nebraska Avenue and East McBerry Street where they found a body.
Police are calling the death suspicious and believe the victim may have been shot.
They believe the killer may still be in the area. Police want residents to stay inside their homes.
Hegarty said that investigators are treating the death as related to the three recent unsolved murders in Seminole Heights.
There is a massive police presence in the area searching for the suspect. Many streets are closed as detectives search for the killer, conduct interviews and gather evidence.
Hegarty said that streets will remain closed for several hours. Nebraska Avenue is closed in both directions between Hillsborough Avenue and Osborne Avenue. Many side streets could also be closed as officers search for the suspect.
People living in Seminole Heights have been on edge after the murders of three people. All three victims, 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell, 32-year-old Monica Hoffa and 20-year-old Anthony Naiboa were found within one mile of each other.
- On Oct. 19, victim Anthony Naiboa, 20, was walking north on 15th Street in the area of Wilder Avenue when he was shot and killed.
- On Oct. 13, victim Monica Hoffa, 32, was found in a vacant lot in the 1000 block of New Orleans Avenue. She was shot and killed.
- On Oct. 9, victim Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was waiting for a bus on North 15th Street and Frierson Avenue. Mitchell was shot and later died of the injuries he sustained. Witnesses described seeing a black man in his early 20’s, wearing a dark hooded jacket, running from the area where this shooting took place.
The reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect now stands at $41,000.
Police have released a video of a “person of interest” who was recorded running from the scene of the first murder. You can watch the video here.
Anyone with information regarding the suspect(s) is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477, report anonymously online