Officers, residents united in search for Seminole Heights killer

By Trevor Pettiford and Dalia Dangerfield, Reporters
Last Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017, 4:40 PM EST

Police continued Friday to scour the Seminole Heights neighborhood after four murders since the start of October.

The reward for information leading to an arrest remained at $100,000, while Gov. Rick Scott directed the Florida Highway Patrol to deploy more of its troopers in the area.

The situation is hitting home for officers like Lt. Kim Plourde-Torres, who has been patrolling the streets of her hometown for 25 years.

"When it starts getting dark or when we come in early in the morning and it's still dark, then it's like, OK, you know, now you're kind of fidgety and just kind of get that tightness of the chest and just kind of a little more anxious because you never know," she said.

"We want this to be over with."

Authorities haven't named a suspect but have released surveillance video including a new clip this week. Despite the frustration of officers, the victims' families and the community, everyone is pitching in to help.

"They have a new operations plan that they just put together," Plourde-Torres said. "We actually have assistance from Florida Highway Patrol, which has been wonderful. They actually started with us (Friday) morning."

Residents are scared but also patient, she said.

WATCH: Tampa Police release surveillance video connected to 4th Seminole Heights murder

"Some of the folks that live in the neighborhoods, bless their hearts," she said. "They've been actually stopped five, six, seven, eight times because they may be out on a bicycle by themselves or walking by themselves, and pretty much we're stopping everything that moves."

Meanwhile, Tampa's former police chief who lives near Seminole Heights said the place has become a community in terror.

"I've never seen the likes of what's going on here now in Seminole Heights," said Jane Castor. "This type of incident is kind of rare."

The manhunt has been stressful for neighbors and, according to Cantor, just as stressful for officers – physically and psychologically. She said the officers are under intense pressure to find the gunman.

"If I was pressed to pick the most significant element of it would be trying to get the individual before there's another killing because that’s the last thing you want," Cantor said.

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