Police: Tampa shooting death may be connected to 3 other murders

Author: WTSP
Published: Updated:
People gather for a candlelight vigil in Seminole Heights neighborhood on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017. (Photo: Josh Sidorowicz, WTSP)


TAMPA, Fla. (WTSP) Until evidence says otherwise, Tampa police are relating the Tuesday morning shooting death in the Seminole Heights neighborhood to the three earlier October murders.

Responding officers found a man dead before 5 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, near North Nebraska Avenue near East McBerry Street.

MORE: Tampa police say 3 killings in 11 days are linked

Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan identified the victim as 60-year-old Ronald Felton. It’s believed Felton was crossing the street to meet with someone when a suspect came up from behind and shot him, Dugan said.

“You walk out your door and somebody just shoots you for no reason?” said Felton’s sister, Tina Felton. “All he was doing was helping the homeless. He wasn’t hurting nobody.”

Suspect information is limited: a thin black male, dressed in all black and wearing a black baseball cap.

“We need everyone to pay attention to what’s going on in this neighborhood. … I can only imagine how they are on edge right now, having a fourth murder.”

The first responding sergeant got to the scene in “about a minute,” Tampa police spokesman Steve Hegarty said.

“If you own a gun and it’s in your home, I want you to go to your home right now … and find out if your gun is still there,” Dugan said. “If it’s not, we need you to call us.”

Nebraska Avenue is closed between Hillsborough and Osborne avenues because of the investigation. Drivers are asked to find another route.

Community outreach, patrols after October murders

The Seminole Heights neighborhood has seen an increased police activity since the Oct. 9 shooting death of 22-year-old Benjamin Edward Mitchell. He was killed at a bus stop along N. 15th Street and East Frierson Avenue.

No more than a week later, police announced they found the body of 32-year-old Monica Caridad Hoffa near the intersection of East New Orleans Avenue and North 10th Street.

A third victim, 20-year-old Anthony Naiboa, was killed on Oct. 19. Tampa police said the took the wrong bus home when he was shot to death.

MORE: Tampa residents warned serial killer may be at large

Naiboa’s father, Casimar Naiboa, criticized police for their inability to catch the killer.

“They blew it again,” Naiboa. “He got away.”

Dugan urged people in the neighborhood not to go outside alone as he addressed concerns Tuesday night at a community meeting:

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.