Police in Tampa have announced an arrest in the case of a possible serial killer who has caused sleepless nights for many in the city's Seminole Heights neighborhood.
Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, 24, will be charged with killing three men and one woman, in a rampage cops say began on Oct. 9, police announced Tuesday night.
Donaldson was taken into custody earlier in the day at a McDonald's after an employee there said he handed a gun to a manager who he asked to hold the semi-automatic pistol for him.
The manager then alerted a police officer who was completing paperwork in the restaurant. The McDonald's employees said Donaldson had worked there for about two months.
Donaldson was arrested and police say he'll be charged with four counts of first-degree, premeditated murder in the killings of Benjamin Edward Mitchell, Monica Caridad Hoffa, Anthony Naiboa and Ronald Felton.
"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," Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said. "It just felt right. I kinda had a feeling that we were going to get a break."
Police said Donaldson is a Tampa native who in years past lived in New York City, where he reportedly attended Saint John's University in Queens.
Investigators said they don't know what, if any, connection Donaldson has to Seminole Heights. "We don't know what his motive is," Dugan said. "But there is a lot more to go."
The first killing took place Oct. 9 when 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell was shot while waiting for a local bus. Then, on Oct. 13, Tampa city workers found the body of Monica Hoffa, 32, in an empty field. Police said she was also shot.
On Oct. 19, 20-year-old Anthony Naiboa, who had autism, was shot and killed just 50 feet away from where Mitchell had been slain.