A fourth victim has been found dead, now authorities are suspicious a serial killer is at large.
Tampa resident Ronald Felton, 60, was shot around 4:50am on Tuesday morning while he was on his way to his volunteer work, where he feeds the homeless at a church.
Felton was a construction worker and had 3 adult children. The victim was crossing Nebraska and Wilder street when a man, dressed in all black, came from behind and shot him.
Three other people had been shot near the city’s Seminole Heights neighborhood, in apparently random shootings.
However, cops announced during a press conference that the shooter in all four cases were most likely the same person.
‘It’s very unfortunate here that we’ve had another one,’ said Police Chief Brian Dugan.
‘We will hunt this person down until we find them,’ Mayor Bob Buckhorn said.
Via the Daily Mail: Police believe the killer may still be in the area so they’re ordering everyone in a 1.5 by 1-mile area to lock their doors and stay inside until an all-clear is given.
Officers arrived within seconds of the gunshots, as they had been patrolling in the area already.
‘We want to talk with as many people as we can, we don’t think whoever did this has gone very far at this point,’ Tampa police spokesman Steve Hegarty told reporters this morning.
Authorities have been asking locals to call in with tips they may have on the killer; as well as telling residents to check their gun safes, to make sure all their firearms are accounted for.
Residents were prompted to report any missing firearms.
Suspicions have been raised the killer is a resident of the neighborhood where the shootings have taken place.
The difference between this incident and the previous three is that the victim was killed in the early morning, and not at night.
That leads officers to believe that the killer may be hiding out in the neighborhood.
Witnesses said they saw a black man in his early 20s wearing a dark hooded jacket fleeing the area after the fatal attack. In a subsequent news release, police described the suspect as a black male, 6-foot to 6-foot-2, with a thin build and light complexion and armed with a large black pistol.
He was last seen wearing all black clothing and wearing a baseball cap.
Three people were fatally shot in the neighborhood during a 10-day span last month, leading to increased police patrols. All were alone and had gotten off a bus when they were gunned downed at night for no apparent reason. None were robbed.
Police have previously released surveillance videos of a hooded person of interest from a prior shooting. In a security video taken moments after Benjamin Mitchell became the first victim on October 9, the person of interest is running from the scene.
‘I’ve come up with four reasons why this person is running,’ Police Chief Brian Dugan said last month. ‘One, they may be late for dinner. Two, they’re out exercising. Three, they heard gunshots. And number four, they just murdered Benjamin Mitchell.’
Two days after Mitchell, 22, was shot, Monica Hoffa, 32, was gunned down. And on October 19, Anthony Naiboa, 20, was shot after taking the wrong bus home from his new job. Police patrolling nearby heard the gunshots and rushed to the scene to find Naiboa dead.
Mayor Buckhorn told officers at a briefing last month to hunt the suspect down and ‘bring his head to me.’
There is a $41,000 reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the suspect’s arrest.