As his community hunts a possible serial killer, a Florida mayor was blunt in his speech to officers, declaring, “We’re going to hunt this son of a bitch down until we catch him,” and telling police, “Bring his head to me.”
The Tampa neighborhood has witnessed three killings in the past 11 days, and while investigators are hesitant to brand the murderer a “serial killer,” they believe that the killings are connected. On Wednesday, Mayor Bob Buckhorn told officers, “He’s not taking over these streets. You guys go hunt him down” and emphasized that “great police work” will lead to a capture, NBC reports.
All the murders occurred within a 1-mile radius and took place near bus stops. The neighborhood where the crimes occurred is tense, with workers replacing streetlights to make the streets feel safe and officers on constant patrol, The Washington Post reports. Families are considering skipping trick-or-treating this year, and interim police chief Brian Dugan offered to walk with children, joking, “I might even take some of their candy.”
The first murder occurred on Oct. 9, when Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was shot at a bus stop. Four days later, 32-year-old Monica Hoffa was found dead in a parking lot, and on Oct. 19, Anthony Naiboa, 20, was shot and killed while walking down the street.
Police are also asking for help from the community, urging residents with home surveillance cameras to review the footage and contact law enforcement, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Chief Dugan said that he’s not comfortable referring to the suspect as a “serial killer,” explaining, “We don’t have enough information for those type of labels.”