TAMPA -- Tampa police are asking for help from the public in determining who killed a 14-year-old middle school student.
According to officers, Edward Harris died Sunday afternoon near Woodland Terrace Park, located at 6410 N. 32nd Street.On Monday, police released surveillance video of a vehicle recorded near the park around the time of the murder. Police say someone in the four door, silver or grey vehicle in the video is suspected of shooting Harris.
Police also are looking for the owners of a red car also seen in the video.
Tipsters can remain anonymous and are eligible for a $3,000 cash reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS.Authorities have made no arrests. Investigators say Harris was shot just after 4:30 p.m. outside of the park.
When police arrived, they found the teen badly injured. The boy was pronounced dead a short time later at Tampa General Hospital.According to police, Harris' friends were at the scene but left before police arrived. Detectives are trying to locate them to get more details of the shooting.Police say this crime is the latest in an uptick of recent violence involving teenagers."The violence of young people in this city has been very tragic lately," Tampa police spokesperson Andrea Davis said. "We’ve been holding meetings and marches. We are trying to get the community more involved. We need the cooperation of the community. The police can’t do this alone."
Mayor Bob Buckhorn made his way to the neighborhood Sunday afternoon to talk to residents."These young people, if they want to end up a statistic, either incarcerated or dead, the choice is theirs," he told the Tampa Bay Times. "Either get out of the life and find good role models, or you end up in the street in a pool of blood at age 14. That's the reality."
Officials said the violence is a concern for police as summer nears and more teenagers will be out of school.The city of Tampa has increased programs at local recreation centers to get more kids off the streets. In addition, Tampa police are partnering with communities to try and curb the violence.