When most people think of the Sunshine State, they think of a retirement Mecca for seniors. Understandably, Florida’s population is made up of a lot more people than just senior citizens. But likewise, Florida isn’t high on most people’s list when they think about violent crime.
In fact, most of Florida’s larger cities are not highly ranked on any national crime list. Tampa, Florida is one of those relatively safer big cities. The “other city by the bay” doesn’t make the U.S. top-100 most dangerous cities list.
But when we discuss big cities, all of them have crime and violence issues. Some are worse than others. When compared to other major U.S. cities, Tampa, Florida, ranks around 25 percent safer. So, while it’s not a “haven for hospitable neighborliness,” Tampa isn’t bad.
However, violent crime has skyrocketed across the United States, even in some of the most serene communities. Violent crimes are rising, with an unprecedented spike in murders. Tampa was the victim of another one of these violent murders.
Rapper Rollie Bands was just beginning a potentially promising career in music. The Tampa rapper has released a half a dozen songs through his YouTube channel. One song, Reminiscin’, has already generated over 30,000 views.
Bands recently released a second popular song, Pusha P/Too Easy. Rollie Bands won’t be producing any more videos. Rollie Bands is dead. He is yet another victim of this senseless surge in violence across America.
So, was Bands involved in some sort of gang-related violence? Was Rollie Bands known to traffic in drugs or hang out with thugs? Neither.
All Bands did was push back against some of his critics. Sure, he called them out.
But this man didn’t deserve to be shot and killed. HipHopDX reported that Bands posted a message on his Instagram account. In response to his critics, he wrote, “A lot of these n***as know where I live at fr. I sleep in peace. If a n***a want smoke, I’m at my crib in 5 minutes.”
At approximately 3:30 p.m. Friday, outside IQ Apartments in Tampa, unidentified suspects shot Bands dead in his apartment complex parking lot. He was rushed to an area hospital, but his life could not be saved.
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) July 26, 2022
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office does not believe the shooting was random. A spokesperson for the department issued a brief statement. “At this time, the shooting does not appear random, as the suspects and victim are possibly known to each other.”
Further information in the department’s report said that the suspects fled the scene. No one was sure in what direction they fled. Twitter exploded with sympathy for the victim. One Twitter user posted, “My heart goes out to rapper Rollie Bands in Tampa that was shot and killed.”
Another fan wrote, “Damn, he was actually good.” One comment stated, “Never knew you until the story. Unfortunate you never made it, but at least your killers won’t either.”
We can only hope that justice prevails. No one deserves to be gunned down in cold blood.
Anyone with information about the shooting should contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 813-247-8200, or make an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay at 1-800-873-8477. This is a tragic crime that cannot go unpunished.
Photo Credit: Daily Mail US