HART Bus Route Rerouted In Seminole Heights Following Murders

HART Bus Route 9, which runs through Seminole Heights, is being rerouted following the third suspicious murder in the area.

On Sunday morning an “out of order” sign was placed on the bus stop at 15th Street with a detour notice for riders. The route will be detoured via 22nd Street from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Hillsborough Avenue from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m.

The detour and service announcement on HART’s social media originally said the detour was due to construction in the area. However, in a recent posting HART said the detour is due to current events.

“In light of recent events. HART is taking extra precaution by rerouting Route 9,” the posting read.

The detour started Friday night following the third murder in ten days in the Seminole Height area.

The first murder was on October 9. The victim, 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell, was waiting for the bus at North 15th Street and Frierson Avenue when he was shot.

The second murder occurred four days later when 32-year-old Monica Hoffa was found in a vacant lot on New Orleans Avenue shot and killed.

The third string of this killing spree happened last Thursday. 20-year-old Anthony Naiboa was walking north on 15th Street when he was shot and killed.

Police do not have any clear leads or a motive for these killings but do believe all three shootings are related.

HART and the Tampa Police Department are actively working together sharing bus surveillance video and having officers at every stop.

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Allison Leslie is a University of South Florida graduate with a bachelors degree in Mass Communications. She joined Genesis in 2016. With a passion for sports, Allison has interned with 620 WDAE, Pewter Report, Trifecta Team: St. Petersburg Bowl, Bullscast, and many other publications. Being a native to the Bay Area, she has followed and supported Tampa Bay teams her whole life.