HART route in Seminole Heights rerouted following three murders

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A bus route in the area where three murders have happened in Seminole Heights is now being detoured.

An “out of order” sign was placed on HART Bus Route 9 on 15th Street Sunday morning with a detour notice.

The notice says Route 9 will be detoured via 22nd Street from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Hillsborough Avenue from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The detour notice and a service alert posted to HART’s social media account say the detour is due to construction, but our News Channel 8 crew did not see any work being done in the area.

In an email sent to News Channel 8 Saturday night, HART said it is taking extra precaution by rerouting Route 9 “in light of recent events.”

Three people were shot and killed in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in ten days.

The first victim, 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell, was waiting for a bus on North 15th Street and Frierson Avenue when he was shot on October 9. Four days later, 32-year-old Monica Hoffa was found shot and killed in a vacant lot on New Orleans Avenue. Last Thursday, 20-year-old Anthony Naiboa was walking north on 15th Street near Wilder Avenue when he was shot and killed.

Police believe all three murders are related, but do not have any leads or a motive behind them.

A spokesperson for HART said they are actively working with the Tampa Police Department and have shared bus surveillance video. They also said Tampa police have had officers along the route and bus stops.

HART and Tampa police are planning to get together Monday and discuss what to do moving forward.

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