Few answers in Tampa teen’s murder 1 year agoComments Off on Few answers in Tampa teen’s murder 1 year ago
A year after a 14-year-old middle school student was killed, his father and Tampa Police are reminding the public that no one has been arrested in the crime.
- E.J. Harris, 14, was slain a year ago
- No arrests have been made
- EJ’s father, Edward, and Tampa Police say the case is still open
Edward "E.J." Harris died May 31, 2015 near Woodland Terrace Park at 6410 N. 32nd Street. E.J. was killed in a drive-by shooting as he stood with friends in the East Tampa park. E.J. was the youngest to die in a five-month period in 2015 that saw a disturbing surge in gun-related deaths.
Police found a vehicle, an Infinity, seen on surveillance video 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 E.J.
Now, E.J.’s father, Edward Harris, Sr. is speaking with members of the media about the unsolved case. He says he’s certain someone, somewhere, knows who murdered his son.
“I would say to them see the pain that they have caused," said Harris. "Now how they have to live everyday with what happened and what could happen if someone doesn’t say something."
Around this time last year, there were 18 homicides in Tampa. Over the same time period this year, there have been eight.
Tampa Police attribute the decrease in homicides to increased awareness, units dedicated to tracing stolen guns and the city’s initiative to keep nine community centers and parks open until midnight.
"There are some kids who are live today because we did that," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "Those are kids that would not be on the streets, would not be in the path of the bullets, would not be engaged in activity that could put them in those circumstances."
Buckhorn said last summer 17,000 kids and teens visited community centers. The extended hours will pick back up this summer.
Harris said he’s happy to see the city keeping kids safe and hopes one day he will see an arrest in his son’s case.
Police and Harris are calling upon the public to step forward if they have any information that would help identify and find the people responsible for E.J.’s death.
“Justice is coming,” Harris said.
There is an $ 18,000 reward available for tips that lead to the arrest of suspects in this case, as well as three other still-unsolved murders from the first half of 2015: Lyfe Coleman, Jamylin Turner and Sharon Watkins.