Monday, February 19, 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
Girl, 12, sister of murder victim, reported missing in Manatee County

Girl, 12, sister of murder victim, reported missing in Manatee County

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is searching for the 12-year-old sister of a murder victim who was reported missing on Sunday night.Deputies say Jalyssa Shannon left her Manatee County home around 9 p.m. Her mother, Michelle Mosley, reported her ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
‘We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know.’

‘We had this monster living under our roof and we didn’t know.’

Nikolas Cruz was immature, quirky and depressed when James and Kimberly Snead took him into their Parkland home. But he was pleasant and seemed to be growing happier, they said.How the 19-year-old turned into a man now arrested and charged with 17 co...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Parkland students to march on Florida Capitol to demand changes to gun laws

Parkland students to march on Florida Capitol to demand changes to gun laws

TALLAHASSEE A hundred students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland will travel to Tallahassee for a march on the state Capitol on Wednesday in the first organized protest of their #NeverAgain movement. Their demand: that Florida l...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Broward program will give small-time offenders a big break

Broward program will give small-time offenders a big break

FORT LAUDERDALE — Pot smokers aren’t the only law breakers able to get a second chance in South Florida. Underage adults buying alcohol, those stealing property worth less than $300 and people nabbed for trespassing, loitering or disorderly conduct a...
Updated: 11 hours ago
As victims are mourned in Florida, a search for solace, and action

As victims are mourned in Florida, a search for solace, and action

PARKLAND — On the Sunday after Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School lost 17 of its own, a minister in Parkland implored his flock not to let the horrific shootings lead them away from their faith."Our world is broken, but Jesus is not," the Rev. Eddi...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Pinellas Park man tries to stop people breaking into his car, is shot in arm

PINELLAS PARK — A man saw people trying to break into his vehicle and chased them away, before one of the attempted burglars shot him in the arm, police said.Alexander Weaver, 28, was at his home on the 6200 block of 106th Avenue N early Sunday morni...
Published: 02/18/18

Deputies: Woman charged with DUI manslaughter hit St. Pete Beach pedestrian

ST. PETE BEACH — Deputies say a driver killed a man walking on a sidewalk and fled the scene before causing a second crash Saturday night.Carolyn Yovan, 51 of St. Pete Beach, now faces felony charges of driving under the influence manslaughter and le...
Published: 02/18/18
Pinellas Sheriff’s Office accuses 14-year-old of copycat Snapchat school threat

Pinellas Sheriff’s Office accuses 14-year-old of copycat Snapchat school threat

PINELLAS PARK — The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office late Saturday said detectives arrested a 14-year-old boy and accused him of posting a threat to a school on his Snapchat account.Edward Charles Osgood, who attends Lealman Innovation Academy, was a...
Published: 02/17/18
Updated: 02/18/18

Man found dead in flaming mobile home

TAMPA — Firefighters found a man dead inside a burned-down mobile home Saturday.Tampa Fire Rescue got a call just after 4:30 p.m. that a single-wide mobile home at the 100 block of East Linebaugh Avenue was in flames.The man’s identity was not releas...
Published: 02/17/18
‘I’m going to watch you bleed’: Nikolas Cruz threatened ex’s new boyfriend, report says

‘I’m going to watch you bleed’: Nikolas Cruz threatened ex’s new boyfriend, report says

Warning: This story quotes graphic material.Before he killed 17 people at a South Florida high school, Nikolas Cruz repeatedly threatened an ex-classmate who had started dating his former girlfriend, according to a report in Buzzfeed News."I’m going ...
Published: 02/17/18