Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Slain Tampa police officer's name added to memorial

TAMPA — A little boy in his mother's arms peeled away a stencil, revealing the spot where granite was removed to spell his father's name.

Corporal Michael J. Roberts: Now etched in stone outside the Tampa Police Department's downtown headquarters, the 29th addition to the "Roll Call of Honor", a monument to officers killed on duty.

Adam, 3, sat on his mother Cynthia's hip while dozens of officers, Mayor Pam Iorio and police Chief Stephen Hogue looked on silently. Roberts' photo was propped up nearby.

Roberts died Wednesday night when a man pushing a shopping cart full of weapons shot him on a Sulphur Springs street corner.

"I can tell you that this name represents a lot," Chief Hogue said after the subdued ceremony. "It's a particularly senseless death in this case."

The memorial became a gathering place for mourners in the hours and days after Cpl. Roberts was gunned down. People stopped to cry or pray, leaving the front of Tampa police headquarters, 411 N Franklin St., flooded with flowers, candles and cards.

"After all of us are gone, he will still be remembered for his service and sacrifice to this city and this community," Hogue said.

Sgt. Paul Mumford, who was the first back-up officer to arrive the night Roberts died, spoke about his last moments with his good friend.

"I'm glad that I was there that night," Mumford said, his voice cracking. "With his help, we'll be able to continue as a squad."

Police charged 34-year-old Humberto Delgado in Roberts' killing. Delgado, a former police officer originally from the Virgin Islands, suffered from mental illness after serving in the Army, family said. He had been homeless for at least a few days after he was thrown out of his family's Oldsmar home because his relatives didn't approve of his dogs staying there, among other things.

Delgado is being held without bail at the Hillsborough County Jail. During his first appearance Friday, a judge noted that the death penalty could be an option. Prosecutors have not said whether they will seek that punishment.

Hogue said the investigation into Delgado's motive for the shooting continues in "full force," but offered no new information.

A wake for Roberts will be from 6 to 9 p.m. today at Blount and Curry Funeral Home, 3207 W Bearss Ave.

St. Timothy Catholic Church will be the site of Cpl. Roberts' memorial service at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday. The church is at 17512 Lakeshore Drive, Lutz.

As this morning's memorial ceremony ended, downtown workers returned to their offices, news crews dispersed and a group of police officers formed a circle around the granite, heads down, hands folded, quiet.

Slain Tampa police officer's name added to memorial 08/24/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 3:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rick Baker's debate answer revives painful St. Pete controversy

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG — Former Mayor Bill Foster fired one of his top administrators, Goliath Davis III, six years ago for disobeying an order to attend the funeral of a slain police officer.

    St. Petersburg police officers stand by two caskets before the beginning of the 2011 funeral services for Sgt. Thomas Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz at the First Baptist Church of St. Petersburg. [DIRK SHADD   |  Times]
  2. Plan your weekend July 28-30: Comic Con, Lady Antebellum, Margarita Wars, Tampa's Fourth Friday

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Geek out

    Tampa Bay Comic Con: The fan convention returns to the Tampa Convention Center this weekend, bringing actors Val Kilmer, Kate Beckinsale, Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek's Lt. Uhura), Khary Payton (Ezekiel in The Walking Dead) and the …

    Ibri Day poses for a photo at opening day of the 2015 Tampa Bay Comic Con at the Tampa Convention Center. (Friday, July 31, 2015.) [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  3. Editorial: Trump assaults rule of law by attacking attorney general

    Editorials

    Jeff Sessions was a terrible choice for attorney general, and the policies he has pursued in his brief tenure — cracking down on immigrants, bullying sheriffs, prosecuting low-level offenders to the max — are counterproductive. But the stinging personal attacks President Donald Trump leveled at Sessions this …

    The stinging personal attacks President Donald Trump leveled at Attorney General Jess Sessions this week assault the integrity of the Department of Justice and the rule of law.
  4. Iowa group sues United over death of giant rabbit, Simon

    Nation

    DES MOINES, Iowa — A group of Iowa businessmen filed a lawsuit Wednesday against United Airlines over the death of Simon, a giant rabbit whose lifeless body was discovered in a kennel after a flight from London to Chicago.

    In this May 8, 2017 file photo, attorney Guy Cook speaks a news conference while looking at a photo of Simon, a giant rabbit that died after flying from the United Kingdom to Chicago, in Des Moines, Iowa. A group of Iowa businessmen have filed a lawsuit against United Airlines over the death of Simon. The businessmen filed the lawsuit Wednesday, July 26, 2017, more than three months after airline workers found the continental rabbit named Simon dead. [AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall]
  5. Elderly Brooksville woman dies in Wednesday crash

    Accidents

    BROOKSVILLE — An 87-year-old woman died following a Wednesday morning car crash, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.