Sunday, September 23, 2018
Public safety

Police release new video of suspect in Seminole Heights killings

TAMPA — One day after another unsolved fatal shooting in Seminole Heights, Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said Wednesday it doesn’t matter whether the murders are the work of a serial killer or several different people.

"We have four families devastated," Dugan said at a news conference. "Beyond the families we have their friends devastated and have a police department that’s been tilted and have a community that is very intense and rightfully so. And so it really doesn’t matter at this point how we label it, whether it is one individual or two. We need this to stop."

But as he has said previously, Dugan remains convinced the unsolved homicides are all connected.

"It’s the time, the methodology, the fact that they were all alone,’’ he said. "There is no motive. Nothing is taken or anything like that."

The killings began Oct. 9 with the shooting of Benjamin Mitchell, 22. Two days later, Monica Hoffa was shot dead and her body found two days later. On Oct. 19, Anthony Naiboa, 20 was gunned down. And early Tuesday morning Ronald Felton, 60, was shot dead.

In an effort to draw out more tips, Dugan released a new video showing a person he is now identifying as a suspect in at least two of the Seminole Heights killings.

"We have very limited evidence," Dugan said. "That is why we are doing this appeal — to have someone tell us who is in that video. They could be perfectly innocent, but I don’t think so."

Dugan said the video was taken moments before Felton’s murder early Tuesday. The chief said he believes someone must recognize the person.

"I don’t need speculation. I don’t need profiles," Dugan said. "We need names.

Dugan noted the gait and manner in which the suspect walked, saying it was similar to a person captured in video Oct. 9, the day Mitchell was killed. He was described as a black male, about 6 feet to 6-foot-2 with a thin build and light complexion.

The chief seized on the casual manner in which the person in both videos appears to be walking. The Oct. 9 video showed him looking at and flipping his phone shortly before the shooting.

"It’s clear to me that this person is able to flip a switch and murder someone," Dugan said.

Meanwhile, the reward has gone up to $91,000, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation offering $50,000.

Dugan refused again to offer any specifics about the type of weapon or ammunition used in the crimes. He said police have continued to maintain a strong presence in the neighborhood.

So far, he said, they have knocked on 1,957 doors.

"We are out there for the long haul," he said.

Responding to a question about Naiboa’s family searching for their son’s killer and thinking they have found a suspect, Dugan said he feels for Casimar Naiboa.

"I won’t question a grieving father and how he goes about this,’’ the chief said. "I will question the people around him who might be misleading him. And I can assure him we are following up on every lead we have."

Dugan said the thought of another killing has him worried.

"I don’t sleep at night," he said. "How could I. That’s where we stand. I feel for this neighborhood, the people who live there and the businesses."

Contact Howard Altman at [email protected] or (813) 225-3112. Follow @haltman.

Comments
Tarpon Springs woman hit and killed as she pushes stroller along U.S. 19, police say

Tarpon Springs woman hit and killed as she pushes stroller along U.S. 19, police say

TARPON SPRINGS — A 27-year-old Tarpon Springs woman died Saturday after she was struck by a car as she walked along U.S. 19 pushing a stroller with a 2-year-old in it while two 6-year-olds walked beside her, police said.Tymira Latrel Leverson and the...
Published: 09/22/18
Decomposed body found in woods in Wesley Chapel

Decomposed body found in woods in Wesley Chapel

WESLEY CHAPEL — Someone walking in the woods near Beardsley Drive and Broughton Place found a decomposed body about 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Pasco County sheriff’s officials said.Sheriff’s investigators said they have not determined if foul play was invo...
Published: 09/22/18
Pinellas Park man killed in rollover crash near Feather Sound

Pinellas Park man killed in rollover crash near Feather Sound

ST. PETERSBURG — A 47-year-old Pinellas Park man died Friday night after his pickup truck veered into oncoming traffic, rolled over and ejected him, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.Troopers said the crash took place at 7:15 p.m. at Feather So...
Published: 09/22/18
FHP: He stopped to help — then another driver killed him and stole his car

FHP: He stopped to help — then another driver killed him and stole his car

ST. PETERSBURG — An act of kindness ended tragically when the body of a missing motorist was found Friday more than 15 hours after he pulled over on the side of Interstate 275 to assist another driver.Dhimitri Andoni, 22, of Clearwater was driving no...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Fatal Friday night crash closes lanes on Ulmerton Road

Fatal Friday night crash closes lanes on Ulmerton Road

ST. PETERSBURG — A fatal traffic crash occurred at about 7:15 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Ulmerton Road and Carillon Parkway, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash closed all westbound lanes of Ulmerton Road.No additional informati...
Published: 09/21/18
Deputies seek two men wanted in sexual battery at Tampa motel

Deputies seek two men wanted in sexual battery at Tampa motel

TAMPA — Deputies are asking for the public’s help to identify two men they believe committed a sexual battery on Sept. 15 near an east Tampa hotel.The attack took place inside a vehicle at the Quality Inn & Suites at 10007 Princess Palm Ave., accordi...
Published: 09/21/18
Sheriff: Pinellas deputy fired for alerting inmate about cell search

Sheriff: Pinellas deputy fired for alerting inmate about cell search

A Pinellas County detention deputy was terminated on Friday for revealing confidential information about a scheduled search of jail cells for weapons and other contraband, said Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.Detention deputy Michelle Parsons, 48, adm...
Published: 09/21/18
'Divorce Court' woman accused of sex with boy, 15; he says he may have fathered her newborn

'Divorce Court' woman accused of sex with boy, 15; he says he may have fathered her newborn

HUDSON — A 26-year-old woman has been charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious battery after a 15-year-old boy told deputies he could be father of her newborn child, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said. The boy, who has not been nam...
Published: 09/21/18
Deputies: Spring Hill man set fire to ex-girlfriend’s home in July

Deputies: Spring Hill man set fire to ex-girlfriend’s home in July

SPRING HILL — A 27-year-old man was arrested Thursday in connection with a July building fire, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.Christopher Lamar Jamison of Spring Hill faces 10 counts of attempted murder and charges of arson and agg...
Published: 09/21/18
Bob’s Carpet and Flooring heir paid hundreds of thousands dollars for drugs, federal court records show

Bob’s Carpet and Flooring heir paid hundreds of thousands dollars for drugs, federal court records show

Robert Butler III, an heir to a well-known local flooring chain that bears his father’s name, participated in a money laundering scheme and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for cocaine and marijuana in recent years, according to federal court re...
Published: 09/21/18