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Residents Switch Up Routines As Killer Hunts Their Neighborhood

REUTERS/Brian Blanco

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter

Tampa, Fla., residents described a state of fear and restlessness as a potential serial killer stalks their Seminole Heights neighborhood Thursday.

Michael Haynes, 56, changed up his daily routine of taking long walks with his dog at night as police hunt for a killer suspected of shooting four random victims, according to CNN. Haynes now takes care to remain in eye sight of the police barrier that protects his neighborhood and only takes his dog out for a short period.

“Everyone is on edge. We are trying to maintain as normal of life as possible. We don’t want to live in the shadows,” he told CNN, adding that he appreciates the added police protection in the neighborhood. “We all appreciate the heavy police coverage,” he said. “This is unusual for this community. This is a low-crime area.”

Tampa police have ramped up security in light of the four victims shot over the past six weeks, asking residents to turn their porch lights on and patrolling the area every 20 minutes. Police believe that the same suspect has killed at least two of the victims, but have yet to officially label the perpetrator as a serial killer.

Other residents have cited a lack of ability to sleep in light of the murders. Reginald Pringley decided to try and help the police solve the crime, turning over to them some clothes he found behind the alley. Another resident said she hadn’t made huge changes in her life except to take extra care when dropping her young sibling off at school.

A witness to one of the murders described the alleged perpetrator as a six-foot, thin black man wearing all black. Authorities are offering a $91,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest.

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Amber Randall