Tampa Police Chief Provides Update on Shooting Involving Teen, Says ‘Enough is Enough’ on Gun Violence
For Immediate Release
For additional information, please contact:
Janelle H. McGregor, Tampa Police Department Spokesperson
Tampa, Fla. (June 22, 2018)—Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan held a press conference today on the recent shooting of 14-year-old De’Nico Thomas, and the need for more involvement from the community.
Thomas was walking home after playing video games with friends when he was shot near the 3100 block of East Cayuga Street. The shooting took place on June 20 shortly before midnight. When officers arrived on scene they found Thomas lying in the street. He was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Based on witness interviews, detectives believe the unidentified suspect(s) may be traveling in a white colored vehicle.
Chief Dugan issued a ‘call to action’ to community members asking for their help to solve Thomas’ case and other senseless shootings that remain unsolved. He also stressed the importance of community members and police working together to help prevent future shootings from taking place.
“It doesn’t matter your economic background or where you live, we cannot have gun violence in the streets of our nation, let alone the city of Tampa. Our officers work very hard to reduce crime, and this is not the way we want to start off the summer,” said Chief Dugan.
While detectives are still working to determine a motive for Thomas’ shooting, Chief Dugan urged the public not to place blame on the victim.
“Someone is going to want to blame the victim and ask why he was out at midnight. That is completely irrelevant,” stated Chief Dugan. “Something we need to do as a police department, the media, and society is stop blaming the victims. We need to stand up and say the violence is enough and put an end to it.”
State Attorney Andrew Warren along with Neighborhood Watch leaders who live in the area where Thomas was shot joined Chief Dugan at the press conference to show their support.
Detectives are asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 873-TIPS. Anonymous tips may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000.