‘Stop Blaming the Victims,’ Tampa Police Chief Says
Brian Dugan spoke during a press conference to update residents about the shooting of 14-year-old De’Nico Thomas. Dugan said enough is enough when it comes to gun violence.
TAMPA – Police Chief Brian Dugan said it’s time to end gun violence and asked the community’s help in solving the shooting Wednesday (June 20) of 14-year-old De’Nico Thomas.
“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,” Dugan said. “Our officers work very hard to reduce crime, and this is not the way we want to start off the summer.”
Dugan was speaking Friday (June 22) during a press conference called to update residents on the shooting investigation and to discuss the need for more involvement from the community. Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren along with Neighborhood Watch leaders who live in the area where Thomas was shot joined Dugan at the press conference to show their support.
Thomas was walking home just before midnight Wednesday after playing video games with friends when he was shot near the 3100 block of E Cayuga Street. When officers arrived, they found the teen lying in the street. He was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Based on witness interviews, detectives said they believe the unidentified suspect(s) may be traveling in a white colored vehicle.
Dugan issued a call to action’ to community members asking for their help in solving 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.
While detectives are still working to determine a motive for Thomas’ shooting, 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,” Dugan said. “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.”
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.
Photo showing Dugan during the press conference courtesy of the Tampa Police Department.
Tampa Police | Brian Dugan | Crime | Shooting | De’Nico Thomas | Tampabay News
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