TAMPA, Fla. -- Until evidence says otherwise, Tampa police are relating the Tuesday morning shooting death in the Seminole Heights neighborhood to the three earlier October murders.
Responding officers found a man dead before 5 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, near North Nebraska Avenue at East McBerry Street.
Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan identified the victim as 60-year-old Ronald Felton. It's believed Felton was crossing the street to meet with someone when a suspect came up from behind and shot him, Dugan said.
Suspect information is limited: a thin black male, dressed in all black and wearing a black baseball cap.
He has not been arrested.
"We have a perimeter set up and we are searing the neighborhood," Dugan said. "I believe this person lives in this neighborhood and we need everyone's cooperation.
"We need everyone to pay attention to what's going on in this neighborhood. ... I can only imagine how they are on edge right now, having a fourth murder."
The first responding sergeant got to the scene in "about a minute," Tampa police spokesman Steve Hegarty said.
Residents within the police perimeter -- Osborne Avenue to Hillsborough and Nebraska Avenues to 15th Street -- are asked to stay in their homes and keep their children home from school until an "all clear" is given.
"We want to talk with as many people as we can, we don't think whoever did this has gone very far at this point," Hegarty said.
One Seminole Heights school, Edison elementary, is under a "lock-in" meaning children can be dropped off and will stay there safe until further notice. Seven other schools were under a "lock-in" but since have resumed normal operations.
Police ask people to review any surveillance cameras they might have and share it with investigators.
"If you own a gun and it's in your home, I want you to go to your home right now ... and find out if your gun is still there," Dugan said. "If it's not, we need you to call us."
Nebraska Avenue is closed between Hillsborough and Osborne avenues because of the investigation. Drivers are asked to find another route.
"When I'm done here, I'm going to meet the family of Mr. Felton," Dugan said. "I can tell you, it's personal."
'Shirt off his back'
Police identified Felter as the victim not long after the shooting.
Relatives said Felton, more commonly known as "Ronny," was the kind of man who would give someone the shirt off his back if they needed it.
Community outreach, patrols after October murders
The Seminole Heights neighborhood has seen an increased police activity since the Oct. 9 shooting death of 22-year-old Benjamin Edward Mitchell. He was killed at a bus stop along N. 15th Street and East Frierson Avenue.
No more than a week later, police announced they found the body of 32-year-old Monica Caridad Hoffa near the intersection of East New Orleans Avenue and North 10th Street.
A third victim, 20-year-old Anthony Naiboa, was killed on Oct. 19. Tampa police said the took the wrong bus home when he was shot to death.
Surveillance video from on the night of the first murder shows a hooded person of interest walking down the street and checking their phone before stepping out of frame. Later, they're seen running.
"I've come up with four reasons why this person is running," Dugan said last month. "One, they may be late for dinner. Two, they're out exercising. Three, they heard gunshots. And number four, they just murdered Benjamin Mitchell."
Dugan earlier said he hoped the video's release could lead to new tips.
Tampa police and elected leaders hit the sidewalks to show their commitment to the neighborhood not long after the first murder. To help quell families' fears during Halloween, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and then-interim Police Chief Dugan walked with children during trick-or-treating.
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