Army vet helping patrol Seminole Heights as obligation to community

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Tampa Police Department has received nearly 150 tips after Interim Police Chief Brian Dugan released new surveillance video Thursday.

The footage shows a person of interest running from the scene of the first murder in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa.

Army veteran Johnny Compton has been analyzing the video and helping to keep watch in the area.

“We need to get him off the streets now,” Compton said.

Compton received a liver from a murder victim 17 years ago and says he owes it to the community to help solve homicide cases.

Since then, he’s been a crime watch volunteer and received awards several times from former police chiefs over the years.

President George W. Bush has also recognized Compton for his help with investigations, but Compton says he doesn’t do it for the awards.

“The Bible says the best gift a man could ever give is to lay his life down for another. These officers lay their lives down for all of us in this whole city,” Compton said.

Those officers also need help solving the three random murders in the neighborhood.

So far, more than 500 tips have flooded in since the first murder on Oct. 9, according to officials.

“How evil can you get to just go up blatantly and just shoot somebody like that at point blank range at a bus stop? It’s for nothing,” Compton said.

Police are asking for names, rather than descriptions of people. Officials say having names is beneficial to moving the process along more quickly.

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