Mayor, police chief to trick or treat in Seminole Heights following recent murders

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa’s mayor and interim police chief both plan on spending Halloween night in a neighborhood that’s been shaken by three recent murders.

It’s now been three weeks since the first of three people were killed in a string of murders that happened within 10 days in the Southeast Seminole Heights area. Police say the three homicides were connected. They are still searching for the killer who is responsible.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Interim Police Chief Brian Dugan say they will be out in the neighborhood Tuesday night to celebrate Halloween with members of the community. The Tampa Police Department will also have an increased presence throughout that area.

“We’ll have some of our mounted officers, so we’ll have some horses out there. Florida Highway Patrol is going to be out there with us,” said Tampa police spokesperson Steve Hegarty.

Buckhorn and Dugan will kick off Halloween night with a community roll call at Giddens Park around 5:30 p.m. Tampa police officers and Florida Highway Patrol troopers will join them.

At 6 p.m., Mayor Buckhorn and Interim Chief Dugan will start walking around the Southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood to greet residents and joins children who are trick or treating in the area.

“We want kids to have a Halloween and we want those families to know that the Tampa Police Department has got their backs,” Buckhorn said.

Many parents in the neighborhood are on edge in the wake of the recent murders and expressed concern about trick or treating on Halloween because the killer still hasn’t been caught.

Interim Chief Dugan said last week he would join any child or family who feels scared to trick or treat in the neighborhood.

“I’m going to go out there. I’ll be personally on patrol and if somebody wants to walk with me, they can walk with me. I’ll walk with their family and get candy with them and I might even take some of their candy,” he said.

Police are asking residents to not walk alone, especially after sunset. They’re also being urged to turn on their porch lights to welcome any trick or treaters. Parents are asked to accompany their children when they go out.

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