Search ongoing for driver who struck, killed 11-year-old Tampa boy

Alexander H. Torres, photo from Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

TOWN ‘N COUNTRY, Fla. (WFLA) – Monday morning marked the beginning of a new school week for students at Davis Elementary School in Town ‘N Country – a new week without one of their classmates.

“I was really devastated to hear the news and having to give my kids the news … the news of a fellow student that they see every single day and interact with every single day, lose his life like that. It was very hard for me to give them the news,” parent Vanessa Medina said.

Grief counselors were brought in to help students cope with the loss of 11-year-old Alexander Torres. “At the beginning of the day, most of his classmates were upset. They were able to draw a card, make pictures for their dear classmate, and, that activity alone, made them feel a whole lot better,” said Dr. Kimberly Hodges, who works as a grief counselor in Hillsborough County Public Schools.

As the grieving process begins, the search for the hit-and-run driver who killed Alexander over the weekend pressed on.

Alexander left Davis Elementary School on Friday on his bike but never showed up at home. The case took a tragic turn to a death investigation early Saturday morning, as news broke that a driver hit the young boy near the Hillsborough Avenue Bridge.

Tampa Police investigators only have one witness description to rely on and are now looking to possible surveillance video to help track down the driver. Investigators believe Alexander was hit by a 2005 or 2006 metallic gray Nissan Altima. The car likely has front-end damage.

“There are a lot of businesses in that area of Hillsborough, so we are hopeful that we might be able to find something. We check things like red light cameras, but so far, nothing has shed any light,” police spokesman Steve Hegarty said.

According to Alexander’s aunt, the family will hold a funeral for during the weekend.

Anyone with information about the accident should call the Tampa Police Department at (813) 231-6130. In addition, Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering a reward of up to $3,000 for information that leads to the identification and arrest of the suspect in this case. If you have any information and want to be eligible for the reward, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477) or report anonymously online at http://www.crimestopperstb.com

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