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4th person shot dead in Tampa area rattled by serial killer fears

CBS News logo CBS News 2017-11-14

a group of people riding on the back of a truck © Carl Ballou, Getty Images/iStockphoto  

TAMPA, Fla. -- A fourth person was shot dead Tuesday in a Florida neighborhood where residents fear they are being stalked by a serial killer.

Tampa police say residents of the city's Seminole Heights neighborhood reported hearing shots just before 5 a.m. Tuesday. When officers arrived, they found the body of a man in the street.

Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan identified the victim as 60-year-old Ronald Felton. It's believed Felton was crossing the street to meet with someone when a suspect came up from behind and shot him, Dugan said.

The suspect was described as a thin black male, dressed in all black and wearing a black baseball cap.

Until evidence says otherwise, Tampa police are relating the shooting death to the three October killings, reports CBS Tampa affiliate WTSP-TV.

Watch: Possible serial killer in Tampa: Video offers important clues

However, spokesman Steve Hegarty said detectives can't immediately say whether Tuesday's shooting is related to last month's spree where three people were slain during a 10-day span, 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 released surveillance videos of a hooded suspect. In a security video taken moments after Benjamin Mitchell became the first victim on Oct. 9, the suspect 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 Oct. 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.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn told officers at a briefing last month to hunt the suspect down and "bring his head to me."

Seminole Heights is a working-class neighborhood northeast of downtown Tampa that's slowly becoming gentrified. Run-down homes sit next to renovated, historic bungalows, and trendy restaurants have sprung up near auto body shops.

Residents and business owners have said there are car burglaries and fights between kids, but nothing like this.


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