TAMPA, Fla. -- The reward for information leading to an arrest in four unsolved murders in Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighborhood is now at $91,000. Wednesday, Tampa’s Police Chief Brian Dugan said they’ve received more than 450 tips since Tuesday’s murder of 60-year-old Ronald Felton.
Police say Felton was shot in the back several times just before 5 a.m. as he was crossing the street to a church where he regularly helped feed the homeless. His body was found at North Nebraska Avenue and East McBerry Street.
New video released Wednesday shows a black man walking around in a hooded jacket. In a news conference, Dugan told reporters that person has gone from being a “person of interest” to being a “suspect”
Police are avoiding calling the suspect a serial killer because, while they are convinced the person was involved in two homicides, they're not convinced he was involved in all four.
We took a ride through Seminole Heights to see what’s it’s like to live with a killer on the loose.
We found most neighborhood streets empty and houses with porch lights on. Police on every corner. A mother we spoke to folding laundry at a laundry mat just feet away from where Tuesday’s shooting happened said she hopes this killer is found soon.
“The scary part about it is we don’t know who this person is. With the 10news Wednesday night description police have it could be anyone. He’s going around shooting people and I feel bad for all these families who are going to be without loved ones this holiday,” she said.
We drove past the memorial for the other three victims. Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was gunned down in front of his home October 9.
Monica Hoffa, 32, was killed October 11. A city employee found her body two days later in a vacant parking lot about a half mile from where Mitchell died.
Police say Anthony Naiboa, an autistic 20-year-old, became the third victim when he accidentally got on the wrong bus and ended up in the wrong neighborhood.
There were flowers and candles still burning at each of the memorials. A church holding service just feet from where Felton was shot hired its own security Wednesday night.
At a community park about a block away, dozens of people played basketball. Their laughs are comforting in a neighborhood gripped by fear. A young man we spoke to said he’s not going to let these murders keep him from hanging out with his friends.
While police work to connect the dots, they’re asking for the community to come together, telling residents if you see something, say something.
Residents we spoke to hope an arrest is made soon.