Deadly Shooting in Tampa's SoHo District Leaves Community Shaken

A shooting in Tampa's SoHo entertainment district early Sunday morning left two men dead and one injured. The incident occurred near popular bars and late-night spots, with police still searching for the suspect and encouraging witnesses to come forward.

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Nitish Verma
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Deadly Shooting in Tampa's SoHo District Leaves Community Shaken

Deadly Shooting in Tampa's SoHo District Leaves Community Shaken

A shooting in Tampa's bustling SoHo entertainment district early Sunday morning left two men dead and one injured, shattering the festive atmosphere of Mother's Day weekend. The incident occurred in a plaza near several popular bars and late-night spots, where people had gathered to grab food after a night out.

Why this matters: This incident highlights the ongoing issue of gun violence in the United States, particularly in public spaces, and raises concerns about the safety of popular entertainment districts. The investigation's outcome may have implications for community policing strategies and crime prevention measures in similar areas.

The victims have been identified as 28-year-old Kenneth Washington and 23-year-old Kevon Christmas. A third person was sent to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. According to Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw, the shooting involved two groups of people who had issues with each other.

Witnesses described a chaotic and frightening scene as shots rang out around 3 a.m., just as many businesses were wrapping up for the night. An employee at a nearby establishment reported hearing eight shots fired, which shattered a window and grazed a tree. "People were scrambling to get inside businesses to avoid getting shot," the witness recounted.

The incident has left the community on edge, with many expressing shock and concern about the safety of the area, which is popular among college students and recent graduates. "I feel comfortable coming here during the day, but I would think twice about going out at night now," said Danielle Malinsky, a local resident.

State Attorney Suzy Lopez condemned the "senseless acts of violence" at a press conference Sunday morning. Tampa Police are still searching for the suspect involved in the shooting and are encouraging anyone with information or video footage to come forward. Chief Bercaw stated, "What we don't have is video, at this point, and we're asking the public which we know people were out here and filming this, to share that with us as we are trying to unfold the details of this investigation."

The police department had already increased patrols in the area before the incident and plans to add more patrols and visibility to enhance the sense of safety in the community. Anyone with information can call the Tampa Police Department at 812-231-6130 or submit an anonymous tip via Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay at 800-873-8477 or by texting SAFETAMPA to Tip411 (847411).

The deadly shooting on Mother's Day morning has left the Tampa community shaken and searching for answers. As the police investigation continues, residents and visitors alike are grappling with the impact of this senseless violence in the heart of the city's vibrant entertainment district.

Key Takeaways

  • 2 men killed, 1 injured in shooting in Tampa's SoHo district on Mother's Day morning.
  • Victims: 28-year-old Kenneth Washington and 23-year-old Kevon Christmas.
  • Shooting involved 2 groups with prior issues; suspect still at large.
  • Community on edge; police increase patrols to enhance safety.
  • Police seek video footage and tips to aid in investigation.