Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri announced Thursday that the department is offering $50,000 for information that leads to the arrest of Jamaal Jenkins.
Jenkins, 25, is wanted on two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of Destynee Burkes, who was shot and killed on Jan. 7, and Tieyannie Hollis who was shot Jan. 14 and died days later.
Burkes was shot "execution style" in the back of the head, and Hollis was shot multiple times, including in the head.
Gualtieri said Jenkins has recently been seen driving in a teal, newer model four-door Toyota Camry. He said Jenkins is stealing tags from other Toyota Camrys, which means when authorities run the tags, everything comes up clean.
"We have been receiving good and credible information from the public about Jenkins and his whereabouts," Gualtieri said. "(However), we are a couple steps behind him and we need more help."
Jenkins, authorities said, should be considered armed, dangerous and a threat to public safety.
Clear Channel billboards throughout Pinellas County will be going up Thursday afternoon with a photo and stats of Jenkins.
Jenkins is described as being 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair. He also has a tattoo that reads "Nasty As Can Be" on his chest with flames and tattoos of flames on his arms.
The sheriff's office, which held a joint press conference with the St. Petersburg Police Office on Tuesday, decided to offer a reward because of the threat they feel Jenkins is to the public.
"Jenkins is making credible threats against additional individuals in St. Petersburg that he is going to shoot and kill," Gualtieri said.
Gualtieri said Jenkins is not only a threat to the public but also law enforcement officers.
"What is very troubling are Jenkins' statements that he's 'not going back to prison,' " Gualtieri said. "Indications are that he wants to go the hard way. We don't want to see any deputies, police officers (hurt)."
Gualtieri said Jenkins has been seen at various motels along 34th Street/U.S. 19 since the shootings. He is constantly moving, with help from other people, Gualtieri said.
Jenkins is a "guy who knows what he’s doing and doing everything he can to evade law enforcement," Gualtieri added. "We really have to get this bad guy, this killer off the streets."
A Deadly Love Triangle
Jenkins and Burkes, of Gulfport, were involved in an on-and-off relationship for more than a year prior to Burkes' death.
From January to July 2012, Jenkins was in the county jail on various theft and drug charges. During that time, Gualtieri said, the 24-year-old Burkes began a relationship with Hollis.
On Dec. 26, in a quarrel about the relationship, authorities said Jenkins rammed his car into Burkes' in Pinellas Park, pushing her car into an intersection.
After the incident, a warrant for Jenkins' arrest on charges of aggravated battery were filed.
According to Gualtieri, Jenkins shot and killed Burkes on Jan. 7 at the La Quinta Motel because she was the only witness to the crime — a crime that would have put him in state prison a long time, he said.
From there, Gualtieri said Jenkins stole Burkes' silver Chrysler 200, drove to Orlando and switched the tags on the car with a similar vehicle.
After her death, on Jan. 7, Jenkins and Hollis, 31, were involved in an altercation at an unidentified St. Petersburg Park on Jan. 13.
A day later, Hollis was found shot multiple times at the Mariners Pointe Apartments.
Anyone who sees or comes in contact with Jenkins is encouraged not to approach him but to contact the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office at 727-582-6200 or St. Petersburg Police Department at 727-893-7780. Or, to remain anonymous and be eligible for a Crime Stoppers reward of up to $1,000, contact Crime Stoppers of Pinellas County at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477).