TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The father of Anthony Naiboa, the third victim randomly killed in Seminole Heights, says his son ended up in the neighborhood after his usual HART city bus route was shut down.
Police said Naiboa was killed Thursday in Seminole Heights after taking the wrong bus home after work.
Anthony’s father Casimar Naiboa tells News Channel 8 he now believes his son didn’t mistakenly take the route.
He says the normal route had been shut down, which led to Anthony finding a different way home, putting him in an unfamiliar neighborhood.
The family knows that the killer is ultimately responsible for Anthony’s death, but wonder if he would still be alive if HART didn’t make changes to the bus route.
Anthony, 20, had autism and his father says he was trying to become more independent.
Casimar Naiboa says Anthony had been assaulted and robbed earlier this year in a different neighborhood.
He believes his son’s condition, unfortunately, made him an easy target.
Casimar Naiboa says Anthony would take the city bus to and from work where he helped to package hurricane relief supplies. He says it was Anthony’s way of having more responsibility.
The father says Anthony’s goal was to someday get his driver’s license and start a new job.
Law enforcement officers are aggressively patrolling the area by car, foot and bicycle.
Investigators with the FBI and ATF have been helping with the case.
Officials say Hillsborough County deputies and St. Petersburg police officers are also involved.
“The City of Tampa, our community in the Tampa Bay area, we stick together – look out for each other. And we rally whether it’s a hurricane or a situation like this, and it’s a phenomenal feeling to know we’re not alone,” said interim Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan.
The CEO of HART released this statement to News Channel 8:
The recent senseless acts of violence in Seminole Heights are something that no family or neighborhood should have to endure. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of Anthony Naiboa, Monica Caridad Hoffa and Benjamin Edward Mitchell.
HART is actively participating with the Tampa Police Department to provide any information that can assist in this investigation. Additionally, we’ve rerouted Route 9 via 22nd Street from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Hillsborough Avenue from the hours of 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. The change will remain in effect while the investigation continues.
We will continue to partner with law enforcement throughout the investigation and communicate safety information to our customers, both online and in print. We ask that anyone with information that can aid in the identification and capture of the suspect or suspects, please contact Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay at 1-800-873-8477 or http://www.crimestopperstb.com.”