Tampa police believe 2 homicide cases are related

Tampa police believe the killings of two people who didn't know each other are connected, which has raised concerns in the Seminole Heights neighborhood.

TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Police Department is investigating two homicide cases it believes are related.

Benjamin Edward Mitchell, 22, was shot and killed on Oct. 9 around 9 p.m. while waiting at a bus stop near North 15th Street and East Frierson Avenue.

Monica Caridad Hoffa, 32, was shot and killed near the intersection of East New Orleans Avenue and North 10th Street. Police officers found Hoffa early Friday, but believe the shooting happened late Wednesday or on Thursday.

“Both cases are somewhat unusual in that there are no clear motives behind the killings,” said Tampa Interim Deputy Chief Brian Dugan.

In a news release, Tampa police cited “circumstances” and proximity of the killings as to why investigators believe the homicide cases are related. The two locations of the killing are within 10 blocks or about a half mile of each other in the southeast Seminole Heights area.

Detectives sent alerts to residents who live near the homicides. Investigators are also collecting surveillance video.

Any residents or businesses with surveillance video related to the cases is asked to call Tampa police at (813)231-6130.

Police also are urging residents in the Seminole Heights area to follow some basic safety tips.

·        Don't walk alone at night. If you must be out walking after dark, arrange to

have a friend join you.

·        Turn on outdoor lights, such as front porch lights. Tampa police can provide light bulbs if necessary.

·        Report any suspicious activity to Tampa police.

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© 2017 WTSP-TV


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