A nightmare for Tampa residents may be coming to an end as police believe they caught the man responsible for killing four people in Seminole Heights.
Tampa police announced Tuesday evening that they arrested Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, 24, and will charge him with four counts of first-degree murder.
Residents have been living in fear since the first murder on October 9th. Anthony Taino Naiboa, 20, Monica Caridad Hoffa, 32, and 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell were all shot to death within a 10-day period in October. Ronald Felton, 60, was killed on November 14th.
Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan could not reveal if Donaldson had admitted to the murders or, as of now, the details of the ongoing investigation.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Donaldson showed up at a Ybor City McDonald’s on Tuesday with a loaded 9mm handgun. He handed the weapon to the restaurant manager and asked him to hold on to it, and then proceeded to walk across the street to get a payday loan.
Not knowing what to do with a loaded handgun, the manager and another employee alerted a police officer in the restaurant who quickly called for backup. Within moments police were in the parking lot to take Donaldson into questioning when he returned.
Police were seen examining Donaldson’s vehicle, as well as a boarded up house on Sulphur Springs street that reportedly belongs to his parents.
City officials expressed optimism at the developments.
“Fifty one days ago I said this was a struggle between good and evil,” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said. “Well, tonight goodness has won.”
Police said they received over 5,000 tips in the search for the suspected serial killer.
This is a developing story. Check back with CrimeOnline for more updates. CrimeOnline founder Nancy Grace will be analyzing the latest developments on her Sirius XM radio show and podcast ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ on Wednesday.
FEATURED IMAGE: Left: This undated photo provided by the Tampa Police Department shows Howell Emanuel Donaldson. Police in Tampa say they have arrested, Donaldson, 24, and will charge him with murder in a string of recent homicides. (Tampa Police Department via AP). RIGHT: Benjamin Mitchell/Anthony Taino Naiboa/Monica Caridad Hoffa/Ronald Felton