Tampa gripped with fear as possible serial killer lurks

The city of Tampa is paralyzed in fear after three unsolved murders that may be the work of a serial killer.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, three people have been shot to death seemingly at random in and around the Seminole Heights neighborhood, not known for violent crime.

Anthony Taino Naiboa, 20, Monica Caridad Hoffa, 32, and 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell were all shot to death within a 10-day period in October. The victims did not know each other, and the New York Post reports that they had all ridden a city bus before they were killed. None of the three were robbed.

“I’m afraid,” Maria Maldonado, a mother of a 7-year-old child, told the New York Post.

“We don’t open the door or nothing. A lot of people are scared. I’m scared for my son, for the neighborhood.”

Police have released surveillance video of a possible person of interest in the hopes of identifying them.

Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan told CBS News that police are considering other possibilities besides a serial killer.

“I’m very cautious of that term because we don’t have enough information,” Dugan said.

“You know, we don’t know. It could be multiple people.”

The city is now in a state of hyper-vigilance, monitoring school bus stops for any suspicious activity.

“We really have activated and energizing the neighborhood to take ownership of their streets – they’re not going to give up, they’re not going to let evil win this,” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn told CBS News.

“They’re going to take back their streets and we’re going to be right there with them, looking for every suspect, looking for every clue. We’re not leaving here until we get this guy.”


[Feature photo: CBS News screenshot (Benjamin Mitchell/Anthony Taino Naiboa/Monica Caridad Hoffa)]