The serial killer who has wrought terror on Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighborhood, killing three men and one woman, may have been found.
Tampa police announced Tuesday night that they have arrested Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, 24, who will be charged with the murders that started on October 9. Donaldson was arrested at a McDonald's after an employee said Donaldson gave a gun to a manager, asking him to hold it for him while he went to Amscot to get a payday loan. That prompted the manager to alert a police officer who was finishing paperwork in the restaurant. According to employees in the McDonald's, Donaldson had been employed there for roughly two months.
Donaldson will be charged with four counts of first-degree premeditated murder.
Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan stated, "When I think I found out there was a gun, and when we looked at his description, it was a little more than what we really had. It just felt right. I kinda had a feeling that we were going to get a break." He added, "We don't know what his motive is. But there is a lot more to go."
According to Rob Dauster of College Basketball Talk, Donaldson was a walk-on at St. John's University for the Red Storm during the 2011-12 season, although he did not appear in any games. Donaldson graduated from St. John's University this year.
At the end of October, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn gave police a blunt message about the Seminole Heights murderer: “Bring his head to me.”
The victims were Benjamin Mitchell, 22, murdered October 9; Monica Hoffa, 32, killed October 11; Anthony Naiboa, an autistic 20-year-old who had just graduated from high school, who died October 19; and 60-year-old Ronald Felton, who was meeting his pastor to get ready to distribute food to families in need when he was murdered November 14.
At the time Buckhorn made his pronouncement, Tampa police released a video showing a "person of interest" seen running near the scene where Mitchell was killed.