Shadow of killer looms over Thanksgiving in Seminole Heights

- Thanksgiving eve may as well be a weekend night in Seminole Heights; restaurants are filled with folks kicking off the holiday season.

But still, the shadow of a killer looms.

"I would love to see this come to an end," said Manual Tamargo, who was sipping a beer outside at Hampton Station. "It is weighing on a lot of people."

It is especially weighing on the four families who will be one fewer at the Thanksgiving table.

The father of the second victim, Monica Hoffa, says this holiday season is nothing short of a horror story.

"We are going to pray for her and we are going to pray for Ben, Ronald, and Monica as well," said Robert Hoffa. "Every day, I live it every day, and it doesn't get any better."

Even though he has since said he was speaking figuratively, Mayor Bob Buckhorn's rallying cry from October 26 still sums up the feeling many have:

"Bring me his head," the mayor said.

They want the families to feel some closure with the capture of the suspect.

"This is a direct order from Buckhorn himself, he is the leader of this community, if he wants him that bad, we all should want to get this guy that bad," said Sebastian Ballaster, the owner of a tee-shirt company.

Ballaster and Robert McQueen are selling shirts with the now-famous quote and they promise to make a donation to the victim's fund.

"I really wish we could do more," said Ballaster. "This is the least we can do, is donate a portion of the proceeds to the families, it's the least we can do."

Officers who will work overtime on Thanksgiving, patrolling Seminole Heights, certainly want to get this killer off the streets. TPD and FDLE both have officers working in the area.

"These cops are taking this personally, they want this guy as bad as I do," said Buckhorn. "For me, you are not going to hold my city hostage, and you are not going to hold the good folks of Southeast Seminole Heights hostage."

A reward for information that leads to an arrest is being offered by CrimeStoppers of Tampa Bay of up to $110,000.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Shadow of killer looms over Thanksgiving in Seminole Heights
  • Tampa shooting leaves 14-year-old critically injured
  • St. Pete Pride 2018 will be filled with colorful events and crowds
  • One injured in Highlands restaurant shooting
  • Two people, one dog exposed to rabid cat in Gibsonton neighborhood
  • Church theft suspect stole baby bottles filled with church donations, police say
  • Clearwater officers warn residents to lock their vehicle doors following gun thefts
  • Sarasota police under fire for alleged brutality
  • Bear seen wandering around Crystal River neighborhood
  • Person of interest identified in case of missing Brooksville woman