Police have admitted that a serial killer could be on the loose after two men were killed in the exact same way, and also had the same surname.
The two murders, which took place in St Petersburg, Florida over two days, “have several similarities that are concerning," police warned.
“In both cases, the shootings occurred overnight, both targeted men walking alone in neighbourhoods, and both victims were approached by someone in a car,” the SPPD said in a statement.
Vernon Williams, 60, was walking along Melrose Avenue South on 10 April when someone approached and fatally shot him.
Corlenzo Williams, 24, was walking down 17th Avenue South two days later when someone again approached in a car and shot him dead.
Police said the two victims were not related and did not know each other, despite sharing the same surname.
In both cases, SPPD Chief Anthony Holloway said at a press conference, the suspect is a black male that has a brief chat with the victims before pulling the trigger.
“Right now, as we look at the thing, it’s a Black male,” Mr Holloway said on Wednesday. “We’re not sure it’s the same Black male, but everything is lining up to a Black male that’s having a brief conversation with the victims prior to the shooting.”
Police have asked the public for any information they might have regarding the shootings, especially surveillance footage.
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They also warned anyone in St Petersburg, a city on Florida's gulf coast, not to go near a stranger who approaches them in a car.
Mr Holloway said the descriptions of the car have been contradictory, so police can't release the make and model yet.
Police added that a third potential victim ran off when he saw a gun being brandished.
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“Also, a third man reports a vehicle approached him near the location of the second shooting, but he ran off when he saw a gun,” the SPPD said.
Mr Holloway said this person had no connection to the other two victims.
“They have no link,” the chief said. “So we’re assuming that the suspect is driving down the street, spotting these people that are walking down the street, having a conversation and then shooting them.”
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