Gun Toting Serial Killer Strikes Again
A serial killer prowling the streets of Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighborhood claimed victim number four Tuesday.
Ronald Felton, 60, died just steps from the food bank where he volunteered twice a week. A witness described the person who shot and killed Felton as a thin, black male with a light complexion, approximately six feet tall, wearing all black and carrying a large black pistol. He attacked Felton as he crossed Nebraska Avenue toward New Season Apostolic Ministries around 4:50 a.m. Tuesday.
“This has got to stop,” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn told reporters Tuesday. “We will hunt this person down until we find them.”
Investigators believe the suspect lives in the neighborhood. A reward for information in the case increased to $41,000, according to a report from the Tampa Bay Times.
Felton’s slaying breaks a month of relative calm in Seminole Heights as police continue piecing together evidence from the cases of the shooter’s three other victims: Benjamin Edward Mitchell, 22; Monica Caridad Hoffa, 32; and Anthony Naiboa, 20.
Naiboa was found Oct. 19 near 15th Street N. and E. Frierson Avenue, about 200 yards away from the Ellicott Street bus stop where Mitchell was shot Oct. 9. Residents discovered Hoffa’s body Oct. 13 in a vacant lot six blocks away. She was last seen walking through the neighborhood two days earlier. Felton’s murder falls within the same 1-mile radius, though investigators have yet to discuss what other evidence points to the cases being linked.
Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said during a press conference Oct. 26 the department secured video of a person of interest in the case. The footage, patched together images from multiple security cameras, includes a nearly 2-minute sequence of a person in a black hooded sweatshirt walking down the street toward the bus stop where Mitchell was shot and killed. He encouraged neighborhood residents to study the footage and come forward with any identifying information.
“We need everyone’s cooperation,” Dugan told reporters Tuesday. “We need everyone to pay attention to whats going on in their neighborhood … I can only imagine how they are on edge right now. We need to talk to everyone who heard anything about this time or who saw anything that may seem suspicious.”
Anonymous tips can be submitted online through Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay or by calling 1-800-873-8477 (TIPS).