BRADENTON (FOX 13) - Manatee County's first two murders of 2016 probably happened in the first hours of the New Year.
Sheriff's investigators said they think 37-year old Demetrius Robinson and 31-year old Florence Randall were shot and killed between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m.
"It was New Year's Eve last night, so a lot of people were out late...they may have seen something early this morning," spokesman David Bristow said, reinforcing a request for information from the public. "We'll get the physical evidence, but nothing is better than getting tips" he said.
According to Bristow, a relative of one of the victims called the sheriff's office shortly after 5 a.m.
"She had information that maybe something had gone wrong, she comes here and discovers the two victims and then immediately calls us" he recounted.
Investigators think the couple was targeted for unknown reasons, saying they do not appear to be victims of random violence.
Robinson and Randall shared a unit in a triplex in the 5700 block of 11th Street, in an area known as Pride Park and known for its persistent crime problems.
"Last 13 years, I've seen nine shootings out here so far," David Daw, a nearby resident, claimed.
Friday morning Louann Harper stood by the crime scene, openly weeping for the loss of her friend "Tiffany" Randall.
"This street is so freaking bad" Harper sobbed, "This 11th Street- it's so bad."
Bristow confirmed the Pride Park neighborhood has challenged law enforcement for decades. Both of the murder victims had criminal histories.