Fourth victim added to Seminole Heights memorial mural

Fourth victim added to the Seminole Heights memorial mural

60-year-old Ronald Felton’s photo was added to the mural in Seminole Heights remembering the victims killed, Sunday afternoon.

The mural is located on the side of a business at the corner of Nebraska and Osborne avenues.

It will be on display for a few weeks, but eventually be removed.

Many living in that area are happy it will be taken down. They feel after the news about an arrest, they just want to move forward.

Stan Lasater, president of the neighborhood association, has spoken with all four victims' families, who are afraid once this mural is removed, they will be forgotten.

“We've promised them that the neighborhood would not forget their loved ones. That was the fear with every family so far, that they don't want their son or daughter to be forgotten,” says Lasater.

The plan being proposed, for now, is turning the empty lot in which Monica Hoffa was killed into a retention pond surrounded by benches and lights.

That way, loved ones, friends and the community can always have a place to remember these four victims.

Lasater says some people living here, however, don't want a reminder of what happened.

“We're hoping that if it's something tasteful like a park or something, it would be OK from the neighbors,” he says.

Although many want to forget about this dark time in Seminole Heights, now that an arrest has been made, It's still a part of Tampa's history.

The good and the bad preserved at the Tampa Bay Historic Center.

“We talk about slavery. We talk to the push against civil rights movement, what happened in the cigar industry as far as anti-labor movements and violence associated with that,” says Rodney Kite Powell, curator of history with the museum.

There, the history of Seminole Heights is front and center.

Powell says they started the "community case" to give small neighborhoods an opportunity to share how they developed.

It just so happens that Seminole Heights is the community picked, with the waitlist being years long.

There has been talk about preserving the murals once they’re taken down.

Powell says if the families want to donate these murals in the future they will gladly accept them, but they cannot guarantee they will remain in the museum forever.

“Five or 10 years from now when there is distance from this and we can reflect on this as a historic event, that’s when the memorial or other items can be good for a display or research,” he says.

For now, the families will be taking these murals home once they come down.

The community is looking to work with the City of Tampa to raise funds for the retention pond.

An architect has also stepped in to help with the design and layout for a new memorial.

Editor's note: An incorrect date was given in an earlier version of this story.
 

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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