Tampa police hunting a suspected serial killer have been ordered by the city’s mayor to ‘bring his head to me’.
Bob Buckhorn told officers, who are hunting the suspect in three fatal shootings, during a roll call ‘let’s go get this done’, as new footage was release of the suspect.
The new footage was taken the night of the first shooting and it shows a suspect wearing a hooded top running away from the neighbourhood immediately after the shooting.
The figure, described by detectives as a ‘person on interest’ is similar to a person shown in a video released earlier by police but with is seen running in longer strides.
‘I’ve come up with four reasons why this person is running,’ said Interim Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan, the Orlando Sentinal reported.
‘One, they may be late for dinner. Two, they’re out exercising. Three, they heard gunshots. And number four, they just murdered Benjamin Mitchell.’
The new video comes as the heartbroken, outraged father of a 32-year-old woman shot dead by a suspected Tampa serial killer is crying out for community help in tracking the individual down.
Police believe there could be four reasons why the suspect is seen fleeing. They maybe late for dinner, exercising, heard gunshots or just murdered Benjamin Mitchell
Kenny Hoffa, who lost his daughter, Monica Hoffa, after she was fatally gunned down while walking to a friend’s house in Seminole Heights on October 11, is pleading with locals to take part in the desperate search for the mystery murderer.
‘There’s two other families that are suffering just like our family is suffering and those two families need vengeance just like we do,’ Hoffa said, while speaking with WFTS.
Two men were gunned down in the same neighborhood over the course of just 11 days. Benjamin Edward Mitchell, 22, was killed October 9 and Anthony Naiboa, 20, on October 19.
Police say the victims have no personal connections and appear to be randomly targeted.
Kenny Hoffa, the heartbroken father to a victim of the Tampa serial killer has spoken out, pleading the public for help in finding the community’s suspected serial killer
Kenny Hoffa (right) lost his daughter, Monica Hoffa (left) after she was fatally gunned down by a mystery gunman while walking to a friend’s house in Seminole Heights October 11
Hoffa told the news station: ‘I am angrier than I’ve ever been in my life there is just no words can tell you how upset I am.
‘I need that Seminole Heights community to stand up and I need them to point out who that man is,’ he added.
‘I know they are afraid … I know people are probably worried that they are going to be next. But, people need to step out and they to identify this guy so we can get him off the street.’
Aside from a grief-stricken father, Monica Hoffa leaves behind a deaf mother – whom her father said his loving daughter was of constant care and support to.
Local police since released a video of a hooded person of interest in the three murders that have terrorized a quiet neighborhood, in a desperate plea for information about the suspected serial murders.
A $25,000 reward is offered to the public for information about the three sidewalk shootings in Seminole Heights, after desperate investigators called in FBI profilers for assistance in the case.
Cops conducting saturation patrols in the area even heard the gunshots that killed the latest victim, Naiboa, but the killer eluded them.
The eerie surveillance video from the first shooting shows a tall, thin person walking with a distinctive loping gait, but police have cautioned that they aren’t sure from the footage of the individual’s race, or even whether it is a man or a woman.
Profilers have stepped in to fill the gap, offering their expert theories: the killer is likely male, perhaps in his 20s, possibly an ethnic minority.
The random slayings may be motivated by anger and the thrill of outwitting investigators.
The killer probably has a ‘deep and personal relationship with the area,’ writes Enzo Yaksic, co-founder of Northeastern University’s Atypical Homicide Research Group, in a profile he shared with DailyMail.com
Eerie surveillance the first video released about the first shooting shows a tall, thin person walking with a distinctive loping gait. Police have cautioned that they aren’t sure from the footage of the individual’s race, or even whether it is a man or a woman
The fatal sidewalk shootings all took place within blocks of each other in Seminole Heights
The killer appears to blitz strangers with a gun, and escapes quickly on foot or bicycle, suggesting a reasonably fit individual aged 21 to 35.
Predicting the race of a suspect is tricky. The victims have included several races, and Yaksic believes that given the area’s demographics the killer is likely an ethnic minority.
As the neighborhood has been gentrifying, Yaksic suspects that class tensions may play a role in the killer’s psychology.
‘The disparity between the offender’s perceived lower status may be driving his motivations to victimize those from other statuses,’ Yaksic wrote.
Since the murders took place late in the day or at night, the ‘timing could indicate that the offender is employed during the daylight hours in some menial capacity based on his potential age range,’ the profile added.
Yaksic, who is not part of the investigation but has shared his profile with Tampa police,wrote he believes that the killer ‘is not mentally ill or unstable and is reacting to a set of internal processes that he may have verbalized to acquaintances or relatives.’
The brief clip of the person of interest shows the baggy dark-colored top and white pants. The person appears to be examining a cell phone
Cops blanketed the area after the initial slayings, but it was not enough to prevent the sidewalk murder of the third victim. Officers nearby heard the shots ring out
The site of the third shooting was just a block from where the first victim was slain – and police said it was right outside the first victim’s home
Experts warn that profiling is not the magical art depicted in shows like ‘Criminal Minds’ – at best, profilers supplement the traditional investigative work of police on the ground.
Though police have been grudging to publicly call these murders the work of a serial killer, Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said on Friday: ‘We can call it what we want… if that brings attention to it, that’s fine.’
The first victim, Mitchell, was shot on October 9 near a bus stop a block away from the most recent shooting, and died from his injuries at a hospital. Cops said he had no criminal record.
Days later, Hoffa was found dead on October 13, although police believe she was killed two days earlier. Her body was found in a vacant lot by a city worker.
Naiboa, the third victim, was not even supposed to be in the neighborhood when he was shot on the night of October 19.
Cops said that Anthony Naiboa, the third victim, had mistakenly gotten on the wrong bus leaving work and was not even supposed to be in the neighborhood when he was killed
He had autism, and police say he took the wrong bus home from work. Realizing his mistake, he got off in Seminole Heights and was walking to a different stop when he was gunned down.
Police on saturation patrols in the area rushed over and found him dead on the scene.
The three shootings took place within a few thousand feet of each other in the residential neighborhood.
All three victims were bus riders and all three were shot at or near bus stops. Mitchell and Naiboa both attended Middleton High School.
Authorities have said repeatedly that the three victims were not criminals and that there is no personal connection between them.
‘You can imagine the frustration of these officers to hear gunshots and not be able to find this person,’ Dugan said at the conference.
‘He was in the prime of his life and was taken instantly.’
‘This is, you know, very frustrating,’ Dugan said. ‘I go from frustration to anger on these unsolved homicides. And now, we have someone who is terrorizing the neighborhood. It’s just difficult to see this happen.’
Police have urged residents in the area to keep their exterior lights on and maintain a public presence on the streets – though the department warns against walking alone at night.
‘Do cookouts, walk your dog,’ said Dugan. ‘We’re not going to be held hostage by whoever’s doing this.’
The chief also had a message for the killer: ‘Enough is enough.’
‘I don’t know what your motive is,’ he said. ‘I don’t know what your problem is. There’s been enough carnage. You have severely affected some families.’
Anyone with information about the murders is urged to contact Tampa Crime Stoppers at 800-873-TIPS.