TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The fourth person murdered in Seminole Heights was at his church to feed the homeless early Tuesday morning when he stepped outside and was shot and killed.
A suspect dressed in black clothing shot Ronald Felton, 60, from behind at 4:51 a.m. A Tampa Police Department officer was in the area when the shots were fired and immediately went to the shooting scene.
“If he would have arrived 5 seconds earlier, he could have stopped it,” said Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan.
Felton was at the New Seasons Apostolic Church where he helps other church members feed the homeless on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when he’s not working at his construction job, according to Felton’s younger brother James.
Ronald Felton had six brothers. One of his brothers is his twin, who spoke with Ronald before he was killed.
“[Ronald’s] twin talked to him this morning and he was at the bus stop right across from the church,” said James. “The people he works with were already there and they heard four shots. His twin brother didn’t hear it.”
“They called me and said you need to get to the church right away — it’s your brother.”
“The family is just torn,” James said. “My family is taking it real hard.”
James said his brother was separated from his wife and leaves behind three grown kids. James came from a large family and had 14 brothers and sisters.
“He was an outgoing person, everyone loves him.”
James said it was chilling to learn that the serial killer may have been the person who took his brother’s life.
“It made me feel a kind of fear,” he said.
James has a message for the community, “Just be safe because this guy is on the loose.”
WFLA News Channel 8 reporter Corey Davis spoke with Ronald Felton’s loved ones. You can hear what they had to say about their loss in the video below.
Aikens Funeral Home located at 2708 E. Dr. MLK Jr Blvd. will be handling Felton’s funeral arrangements. .
Tampa police have a massive presence in Seminole Heights following the most recent murder. Police are going door-to-door looking for the suspect and gathering information. Police think he lives in the community.
The suspect is described as a black male, 6′ to 6′ 2″ tall and has a thin build and a light complexion. He was armed with a large black pistol and was last seen wearing all black clothing. Anyone who may have any information, should call Tampa police at (813) 231-6130. A $41,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the case.
Three other people have been murdered in Seminole Heights since October. Police believe Felton’s death is related to the three other murders.
Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was waiting for a bus on North 15th Street and Frierson Avenue when he was shot on Oct. 9. He died from his injuries. Witnesses described seeing a black man in his early 20’s, wearing a dark hooded jacket, running from the area where this shooting took place.
Police also released video of a person of interest in the case who was recorded by surveillance cameras running away from the scene. Watch the video here.
The body of Monica Hoffa, 32, was found in a vacant lot in the 1000 block of New Orleans Avenue. She was shot and killed on Oct. 13.
Anthony Naiboa, 20, had just gotten off the bus and was walking north on 15th Street in the area of Wilder Avenue when he was shot and killed on Oct. 19.
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