Body found near sites of 3 unsolved Tampa slayings

Tampa police investigating a deadly shooting

Meanwhile, along the streets where police say the serial killer has been hunting victims, schools were put on "lock-in" status, meaning students were unable to leave the buildings for activities until police finished scouring the area for clues.

For almost a month, there seemed to be a reprieve from the mysterious killings that paralyzed Seminole Heights, a community in north Tampa.

Residents and police have been on edge since October 9, when 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell was shot to death.

Police were using a SWAT team and dogs to search Southeast Seminole Heights house by house.

Tampa police chief Brian Dugan said: 'I've come up with four reasons why this person might be running. "Here he is, helping the community, serving out of a food pantry and lost his life this morning".

Police believe Felton's death is related to the three other murders. "And right now we are treating it as though it is related until we can rule otherwise".

Tampa police say residents of Seminole Heights reported hearing shots just before 5 a.m.

There remains a $41,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the October killings. He had a large black pistol and was last seen all in black.

Dugan believes the suspect lives in the neighborhood, and he urged residents to be vigilant. "We think by their proximity and the manner it was done, they are linked".

The first responding sergeant got to the scene in "about a minute", Tampa police spokesman Steve Hegarty said. "And number four, they just murdered Benjamin Mitchell".

When they got there, they found the body of a man who appeared to have been shot to death. According to his father, Naiboa, who has a mild form of autism, had probably gotten on a different bus after his usual route was shut down and was unfamiliar with Seminole Heights.

The 60-year-old victim was killed in the pre-dawn hours in the western city of Tampa, police said, in the same neighbourhood, Seminole Heights, where three others were shot dead between Oct 9 and 19. Police said she was also shot.

The latest killing, he said, occurred less than a mile south of his home - within a block of his office.

"We need to catch this killer before we need to notify one more family that one of their loved ones is dead". "It's unnerving", said Fifer, 55. "If I go to put the trash out and it's midnight, I start thinking and wondering and looking around more than I used to". "His twin brother didn't hear it", said James.

"People shouldn't have to live that way", he said.

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