It began as a plan to help transform feelings of fear into feelings of joy, but after the arrest of the Seminole Heights killer last week it’s become a celebration of their triumph over evil and a memorial to the four lives senselessly lost to the shooter who left residents on edge for 51 days.
The city of Seminole Heights is overflowing with holiday spirit this year and volunteers are going door-to-door offering to hang up Christmas lights. The lights, which were donated through the combined efforts of area residents and a “leading light company,” are being offered to Seminole Heights residents free of charge. So far 20 houses have had lights installed, with much more soon to follow.
ABC Action News reports that The South Seminole Heights Neighborhood Watch and the Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association have been at the forefront of the community effort that came about when police complained that the neighborhood was too dark during their harrowing search for the unknown gunman who had been terrorizing the Tampa-area neighborhood.
The original plan was to light up the neighborhood, giving the then unknown gunman nowhere to hide. However, residents were able to utter a sigh of relief last week when it was learned that police had reason to believe that Howell Emanuel Donaldson was the culprit behind the shootings. While catching the gunman may no longer be necessary, the city decided to go through with their plans and include the entire community in a celebration of the suspected gunman’s arrest and to pay tribute to the lives lost.
The city hopes to wrap up the light installations by December 10th during their grand finale. This will be the second of two holiday-themed events for the city which kicked off with a tree lighting ceremony on December 2, 2017. A motorcycle run is also scheduled in order to honor the four victims of the gunman: Anthony Naiboa, Monica Hoffa, Benjamin Mitchell and Ronald Felton.