Police officers were patrolling the neighborhood, Seminole Heights, when 20-year-old Anthony Naiboa was gunned down on his way home from work last Sunday. By the time Tampa police heard the shots and arrived at the crime scene, Naiboa was already dead, Tampa Police Department interim chief Brian Dugan told reporters Sunday.
"He was in the prime of his life, and it has been taken instantly," Dugan said.
The three attacks occurred over a span of 11 days within a few blocks of each other, the International Business Times reports. "I go from frustration to anger," Dugan noted, adding that the time period and close proximity of each attack led police to believe they were related to each other.
"It's clear to me they're all linked," Dugan said at a news conference.
The previous murders happened October 9, when Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was slain; and October 13, when Monica Hoffa, 32, was found dead in the Seminole Heights neighborhood. All three victims were bus riders, police said.
No suspect or motive has been pinned down by investigators.
"We all feel a little shaken and concerned that we could be the next victim," the president of a local civic association said.
Police do not want area residents to be fearful of going outside. "We want people outside; this is not a bad neighborhood," Dugan told a radio station on Monday, adding "we need people to tell us what's going on."
Dugan said it was "fine" to call the perpetrator a serial killer after the most recent killing, the Tampa Bay Times reports; however it is not known if there is only one shooter.
On Monday, police officers escorted children to bus stops before the school day started, the Tampa Bay Times noted.