On November 6 at 1:30 AM, a man was shot and killed under the overpass at Hillsborough and Dale Mabry. Late last night, Tampa Police detectives arrested 30-year-old Timothy McGovern. He has been charged with First Degree Murder in the case.
“I have no doubt that the detailed investigation completed by our detectives and their commitment to finding justice in this – and every case - stopped this person before he could take another life,” said Chief O’Connor.
When officers were dispatched to the scene of the shooting, they immediately began talking to witnesses who provided information on what they saw and heard. Gun casings were also recovered from the scene.
These 9mm casings were then entered into NIBIN (National Integrated Ballistics Information Network), comparing the casings to any other potential crimes the same gun may have been used in. In this case, a preliminary link was discovered between the casings from the homicide and those recovered from an unrelated incident.
Four hours prior to the homicide, there was a report of an unidentified white male, who was later determined to be McGovern, firing a gun into the water off Bayshore Boulevard. A witness told us that McGovern was riding a bicycle when he approached her and her friend. He then said “there’s my target” before pulling a gun from his waistband and firing into the water. While the witness and her friend ran from the area, McGovern continued to fire into the water. The witness reported this incident to TPD.
Investigators found video from along Bayshore that captured a person riding his bicycle northbound, shortly after the shots were fired, and near where the witness said that the male fired the shots. Officers responded to the location and found 9mm casings. The casings were placed in NIBIN. Thankfully, no one was struck by a bullet in this case. And even if shooting into water may not seem like a big deal, these citizens gave us the crucial link to solving the homicide.
It was after the casings from the homicide were entered into NIBIN that the comparison match came back, quickly establishing a possible link between the two events. Detectives continued to develop leads and gather evidence in both cases.
Homicide Detectives and plain-clothed officers met and formulated surveillance plans for around the city; and last night, a Tampa Police officer located McGovern as he rode his bicycle along W. Hillsborough Avenue, less than a mile from the homicide scene.
Detectives then interviewed McGovern – who identified himself in the video and admitted to firing the gun on Bayshore to “test” it.
McGovern also admitted having previous encounters with the homicide victim, walking to the underpass on the night of the murder, setting out to take the victim’s life. McGovern also admitted to stabbing the victim on July 4th. While the two have had previous encounters, at this time the extent of how well they knew each other is still to be determined.
A search warrant was conducted on McGovern’s home, and the 9mm handgun he used in the homicide was found. The gun had been reloaded.
Detectives are still combing through items found during the warrant, including a litany of ‘manifestos’ found in the house. What is written in there is concerning, but as the investigation is still ongoing, details may be released later pending relation to the case and confirming the author.
The efficient, quickly conducted police work- across all aspects of the department, undoubtedly made our community safer.