Tampa police identify person of interest with new, incriminating surveillance video

Tampa police released new surveillance video of an unidentified person running from an area where one of three serial murder victims was seemingly randomly killed earlier this month.

Tampa Police Interim Police Chief Brian Dugan gave a press conference on Thursday afternoon in which he said publicly for the first time that the individual in the surveillance video is a person of interest in the serial killer investigation and strongly urged anyone who might recognize that person to come forward.

Police had previously released shadowy surveillance footage of a figure in a hooded top walking in the Seminole Heights area where Benjamin Mitchell, 22,  was shot to death a short time later. In a ten-day period, Mitchell and two other adult victims  — Taino Naiboa, 20, and Monica Caridad Hoffa, 32 — were shot and killed in the same area, and investigators believe they may have been killed by the same person.

The new surveillance video shows that same individual in the same spot, but now they are running in the opposite direction. Chief Dugan said that the surveillance video timestamp is immediately after Mitchell is believed to have been shot.

The interim chief reiterated his commitment to finding the killer, and said he is confident that someone who knows the person in the surveillance video should be able to recognize them and help police find them.

He also acknowledged that the person of interest could have been running in that spot for a completely innocent reason.

Still, Chief Dugan said, “We want to talk to them.”

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