Suspected Florida Serial Killer Attended St. John's University in NYC


Howell Emanuel Donaldson was arrested Tuesday after he asked a co-worker at a McDonald's restaurant to hold a bag carrying a gun.

Police received a tip around 2:40 p.m. that a patron at a Ybor City McDonald's had a gun in a bag inside the restaurant.

Police have said they believe the incident is connected to the recent murders in the Seminole Heights neighborhood, although they haven't said why.

Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said the charging documents are still being crafted at this hour, but that police wanted to get the news out to assure the residents of Seminole Heights.

"Tonight is the beginning of when justice will be served".

When Donaldson returned to the McDonald's, police were waiting.

Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was the first to be killed in the area. "And then the process will occur when this individual rots in hell", Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said in a news conference.

Authorities said a search of Donaldson's cellphone found location data that indicated three days of recorded times and activities corresponding with the first three shootings on Oct. 9, Oct. 11 and Oct. 19. And on October 19, Anthony Naiboa, 20, was killed after taking the wrong bus home from his new job.

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The murder of 60-year-old Ronald Felton on November 14 as he crossed the street to the food bank where he volunteered twice a week, however, spurred new leads in the case - including additional video footage of a possible suspect.

Gov. Rick Scott responded Tuesday night to the arrest in the case.

"I am overjoyed right now".

Robert Hoffa, the uncle of victim Monica Hoffa, said he was "overjoyed" when Tampa police called him to say they had made an arrest.

Donaldson graduated from St. John's University this year. No further information was provided about Donaldson.

More than 5,000 tips have poured into police and Crime Stoppers since the murders were announced, according to WFLA. He was seen casually walking in the Seminole Heights neighborhood looking down at a cell phone.

Tampa police were assisted by several other agencies including ATF, FBI, Florida Highway Patrol and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.