TAMPA, Fla. - Police are trying to figure out how a 33-year-old man wound up in an east Tampa neighborhood with critical injuries that later claimed his life.
According to Tampa police, it was around 9 p.m. Sunday when officers found Donta Allen suffering unspecified “upper body trauma” along E. Palifox Street near N. 44th Street. That’s just north of Myrtle Hill Memorial Park.
Allen was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Donta Allen's cousin, Helena Blackwell said she has no idea why anyone would go after him.
"We don't understand what's happening, what's going on, why did this happen, who did it?" Blackwell said.
Now, she says his young children, including a baby girl, are left without a father, a man known for his bright smile, big laugh and giving spirit.
"He's not a person to hurt anyone. He's like the person who would give you the shirt off his back. That's the type of person he is," Blackwell said. "He always stayed to himself. He works a lot. He worried about his kids. He's just a family-oriented person. My cousin did not deserve to die this way."
Blackwell said her family will not stop fighting until they find out who took Allen's life.
"If this was your cousin, your mama, your sister, anybody, your brother, you would wan't justice, too," Blackwell said. "We need information on what's going on, what happened to him. We will never get rest until we know what happened to him."
Officers say they know Allen was dropped off near NetPark Tampa Bay, a nearby office park along Hillsborough Avenue, 20 minutes earlier. But they don’t know how he got from the office park to the location on Palifox where he was found, about a mile away.
Police say they do not believe Allen’s murder was random, and they are appealing to the public for tips.
“If anyone saw Allen getting into a vehicle at NetPark, or saw him with someone at NetPark, they are urged to call Tampa police,” TPD spokesman Steve Hegarty said.
Anyone who might have seen Allen near NetPark Tampa Bay at approximately 8:40 p.m. or near Palifox and 44th Street at approximately 9 p.m. on Sunday evening is asked to call TPD at 813-231-6130, or to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477) to be eligible for a cash reward.