TAMPA (FOX 13) - City of Tampa police and city officials spoke very openly Monday night and gave as much information as they could regarding three murders in southeast Seminole Heights.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn was the first to address a packed house of hundreds at Edison Elementary School.
“We will hunt this son of a bitch down until we find him,” Buckhorn pledged.
Interim police chief Brian Dugan spoke as well, and let residents know the department needs their help identifying the shooter or even shooters.
“This pains me to tell you that if you're out there walking alone, that you're either a suspect or a potential victim,” said Dugan. “Someone knows something but they don't realize it. Think about that every time you have these type of incidents, somebody always says, ‘Oh I always thought that person was strange.’ Well, why the hell didn't you say something?”
The investigation into the murders of Benjamin Mitchell, Monica Hoffa and Anthony Naiboa is one that's now gaining national interest. Officials say all three shootings happened over a two-week span and were all within a half-mile of each other.
In the case of Mitchell and Naiboa, they were killed just yards apart. Hoffa was gunned down and found days later in a field.
Mitchell's aunt, Angie Dupree, was emotional as she addressed the crowd.
“I will never see him walk around that corner again. I will never joke with him again. These families will never see their children grow up,” said Dupree.
Whether or not one shooter is responsible for the murders, officials are unsure. What also remains a mystery is the identity of a man caught on surveillance only a short time after the first shooting on October 9.
Police for now say they just want to speak with him and are not calling him a suspect, and they don't want people to get caught up in stereotyping what this possible serial killer may look like.
“It may not be a white person, it may not be a male. It could be a black person, maybe a female. How do we know there's not two stepbrothers living in a house and they're doing it together?” offered Dugan.
Police confirm they are working with federal agencies in the search. The reward for information on the case is up to $25,000.