Tampa police increase patrols to combat rising violence

Death on Delaware
TPD detectives investigate a woman's death at 1805 N. Delaware Ave. in Tampa Saturday.

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) —  Police plan to increase patrols in East and West Tampa after a spike in violent crimes. There have been 21 homicides in the city so far this year; there were 12 during the same time last year.

The family of the city’s most recent homicide victim made an emotional plea to the community Tuesday as officers outlined their plan to try to end the violence. “I don’t want anything to happen to anybody else in my family. I don’t want anything to happen to y’alls family. From my heart, nobody is safe. Nobody,” said Showana Darns.

Darns’ mother Sharon Watkins, 58, was shot to death Saturday in her North Boulevard Homes apartment. Bullets buzzed right through her bedroom window and killed her in her bed. Police don’t believe she was the intended target.

Tampa Police plan to use federal grant money to pay for the increased manpower. They say they also need community cooperation to reverse the violent trend.

Detectives believe people in the community know who killed Watkins, but so far, no one is talking. Anyone with information in the case, is urged to call Crimestoppers.

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