FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Reuters) – A man who authorities say may be linked to recent killings in a Tampa, Florida, neighborhood was being interviewed by police on Tuesday as a gun was checked for any ties to the four shootings.
Police Chief Brian Dugan told reporters an unidentified man was being questioned, but had not been arrested. He said police got a tip that a man had a gun at a McDonald’s restaurant in the Ybor City section of Tampa.
Police confiscated the man’s gun, but have not determined whether it was linked to any of the four murders in Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighborhood over the past two months.
“As far as to whether I‘m optimistic whether this has to do with Seminole Heights, yes. This has to do with Seminole Heights,” Dugan said. “I‘m optimistic on this one, but only time will tell. We have a lot of work to do.”
Fears of a serial killer have surged since three people were killed in the neighborhood over an 11-day period in October. A fourth victim, a 60-year-old man, was shot to death on Nov. 14.
Video shown on WFTS-TV in Tampa showed police putting a black man wearing a gray short-sleeved shirt in the back of a cruiser and driving him away to police headquarters.
Footage also showed police tape around a red Ford Mustang believed to be owned by the man in the parking lot of the McDonald‘s.
Police this month released two videos of a man they suspect is responsible for the nighttime attacks. They showed what appeared to be a thin black man, whom police described as between 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches tall.
Both of the videos were taken near the locations of the murders and around the times of two of the killings. A $100,000 reward is being offered in the case.
Reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale; editing by Ian Simpson, G Crosse