Police said Tuesday they’re “optimistic” that they have found a person who could be connected to a series of shooting deaths in Tampa, Florida, which authorities have said could be the work of a serial killer.
Acting on a tip about someone with a gun, officers found the person at a McDonald’s restaurant in the Ybor City neighborhood, Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan told reporters. The person was being questioned Tuesday evening at police headquarters but wasn’t under arrest, Dugan said.
Police have said they believe the deaths of four people since early October in the Seminole Heights neighborhood may be connected, although they haven’t said why.
Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was shot while he was waiting for a bus on Oct. 9. Monica Hoffa, 32, was found dead in a vacant lot on Oct. 13. Anthony Naiboa, 20, was killed while he was walking on Oct. 19. The body of Ronald Felton, 60, was found Nov. 14 near the scene of a memorial honoring the first three victims.
“I am guarded but optimistic,” Dugan said Tuesday, adding: “Yes, I believe this has to do with Seminole Heights.”
Dugan said that officers had recovered a gun but that it wasn’t yet known whether it was the gun used in one or more of the recent killings.
“We still have limited info,” he said. He stressed that it was still early on in investigation and that “the person might be completely innocent.”