Florida authorities searching for killer after 3 murders in 11 days
TAMPA, Fl. — Members of one Tampa neighborhood gathered to mourn the death of a third man as officers rush to find the killer responsible for terrorizing their community.
Walking quietly down the street hand in hand, they stopped at the location where an autistic man, Anthony Taino Naiboa, was brutally murdered as he walked down the street. A recent high school graduate, Naiboa had accidentally taken the wrong bus and ended up in the Seminole Heights neighborhood, police said.
On Thursday night, officers were patrolling in the area when they heard gunshots. Interim Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said they rushed to the area, where they found the 20-year-old dead on the sidewalk.
It’s the same spot where his father knelt to the ground and prayed Sunday night.
“You can imagine the frustration of these officers to hear gunshots and not be able to find this person,” Dugan said. “He was in the prime of his life and was taken instantly.”
Naiboa is the third person to be murdered in the area in the last 11 days.
On October 5, Monica Hoffa was shot and killed in a vacant lot. Her body wasn’t discovered until the next day.
Just five days later, Benjamin Mitchell was waiting for a bus when he was also gunned down. Authorities said it’s about 100 yards away from where Naiboa was discovered on October 19, CBS affiliate WTSP reported.
The three victims have no ties to one another, Dugan told reporters last week, but added that the cases are connected.
“It’s clear to me that they’re all linked,” Dugan said. “I’m convinced we are going to catch this person. It’s frustrating and it makes me angry they are able to vanish so quickly.”
The deaths prompted extra patrols and Tampa police have warned residents in the Seminole Heights neighborhood not to walk alone at night. They’ve asked residents to leave porch lights and other external lights on at night to help them search for the killer.
The FBI and the Hillsborough and Pinellas county sheriff’s officials have pledged support.