Seminole Heights neighbors don’t let murders alter their lives

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – On this Thanksgiving eve, neighbors are refusing to let the four murders dictate how they enjoy the holiday in Seminole Heights.

Dog owners who belong to a Facebook page gather to stroll the neighborhood with their pets. It’s called the Wednesday evening pack walk.

It started a few weeks ago with about 20 people.

“Last week, right after the last shooting, it was just my family that went out. We had a nice little family walk,” said Johnny Lopera.

The numbers are slowly rebounding.

“We’re gonna go out and we’re gonna live our lives. We’re gonna do it no matter what,” said Lopera.

Joined by his new baby daughter, wife and four other dog owners, Lopera walked his dog, Brutes, in the cool night air.

A few blocks away, FHP troopers patrolled the neighborhood.

Posters offering a hefty reward are plastered on poles.

One neighbor offered some good advice.

“I want people to enjoy this time of the year. But at the same time, man, don’t let your guards down,” said Ronald Daniels.

While businesses report a downturn since the killings, Seminole Heights is no ghost town.

On this Thanksgiving eve, being out alone, late, is not a safe thing to do.

But that doesn’t mean being a hermit.

“It’s a scary situation and people are dealing with it how they deal with it. And I chose to live my life,” said Lopera.

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