• 3 dead, Tampa community on edge with possible serial killer on the loose

    By: Kelly Healey , Steve Barrett


    TAMPA, Fla. - Detectives in Tampa are searching for a person they believe was responsible for three different shootings in a Seminole Heights neighborhood.

    Authorities said the victims were gunned down within two weeks and 10 blocks of each other, and have no connection.

    Detectives released grainy surveillance video showing a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt, who they believe is connected to the string of homicides.

    "This is my worst nightmare," Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said.

    Photos: Central Florida missing persons cases

    The first victim, Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was fatally shot on Oct. 9.

    Four days later, Monica Hoffa, 32, was found shot to death on the street nearby.

    The latest victim, Anthony Naiboa, 20, was killed Thursday, just 200 yards north of the first shooting, after he got off on the wrong bus stop.

    “He took the wrong bus to this neighborhood; he should not have been to this neighborhood ... he was going to another bus stop and he did not make it,” Dugan said.

    Naiboa's friends and family members placed flowers and balloons on the spot where he died.

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    “It is a shame that, you know, I won’t be able to speak or see him anymore," Naiboa’s stepmother Maria Rodriguez said. 

    Authorities advised residents not to walk alone and to be aware of their surroundings.

    “Everybody’s scared, they don’t want to come outside. They don’t want to take their kids to school. That’s ridiculous. They need to find him,” said Peterson Vilbrena, a friend of Mitchell’s

    He said he can’t make sense of Mitchell’s death.

    “It devastates me just to find out of all the ways he would die, from a serial killer just killing people for no reason,” Vilbrena said.

    Video: The difference between a serial killer, spree killer & mass murderer


    Neighbors marched together over the weekend, chanting, "Whose streets? Our streets," letting the killer know he's outnumbered.

    "We are in this for the long haul. We are going to find this person," Dugan said.

    As the search continues, the Guardian Angels have gathered volunteers to walk the streets.

    Billy Ross came from the Orlando chapter.

    “As a father, and a Guardian Angel and a human being, we need everybody to help try to fish this guy out and get him caught so it doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Ross said.

    Photos: Death row inmates in Seminole County

    The group creates safety patrol chapters throughout the U.S.

    On Monday night, concerned residents packed a school auditorium to hear from the mayor and the police chief.


    Photos: Death row inmates in Orange County 

    They also got to ask questions, with one resident asking how people who work nights and have to walk can stay safe.


    The interim chief advised to stay in groups and crowded areas.




    There were also concerns about Halloween safety.


    The interim chief promised he would personally be patrolling the neighborhood Halloween night.


    The final member of the audience to speak was the aunt of Mitchell, who pleaded with neighbors to take their safety seriously.


    “Families (are) torn apart because of what this man did to us, or whoever it is, did to us,” she said. “We will never go home with him. I will never see him walk around that corner again.”


    Detectives said they do not have any leads or a motive for the killings. They are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

    Watch Tampa police news conference below:

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