Tampa Bay serial killer suspect arrested (videos)

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A man who police believe to be the serial killer responsible for the murders of four people over the past 51 days in Tampa Bay, Florida, was arrested Tuesday evening and is being charged with four counts of first-degree murder.

The suspected killer has been identified as Howell Emanuel “Trai” Donaldson III, 24, who reportedly worked at a local McDonald’s restaurant.

Victims of the serial killing spree, from Oct. 9 to Nov. 14, were: Benjamin Mitchell, 22; Monica Hoffa, 32; Anthony Naiboa, 20; and Ronald Felton, 60.

The victims were all killed in the same Seminole Heights neighborhood, within approximately a one-mile radius, while alone at night. All were shot in cold blood, but not robbed.

Surveillance video images showed a blurry suspect–wearing a hooded jacket and walking down a street–near one of the crime scenes, and police have been on a manhunt to find him.

After the third killing, an angry Mayor Bob Buckhorn told officers, “Bring his head to me, all right? Let’s go get it done. We are going to hunt this son of a b— down until we catch him.”

Police finally got their break Tuesday afternoon, when Donaldson walked into a McDonald’s restaurant in Ybor City and asked the manager to hold his loaded 9mm gun while he went to take out a loan.

Donaldson arrived at the McDonald’s driving a red Ford Mustang, which reportedly belongs to his father. He then walked to a nearby Amscot Financial to apply for a payday loan. While he was gone, the manager informed a female officer, who happened to be in the restaurant, and she called for backup.

When Donaldson returned, police were waiting for him. He was questioned, then taken into custody.

An employee at that McDonald’s, Gail Rogers, said Donaldson has worked at the restaurant for the past two months, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Donaldson reportedly was born in North Carolina, but lived most of his life in Tampa, until he left to attend St. John’s University in New York, where he played college basketball.

The police still have many unanswered questions. Police Chief Brian Dugan said, “We’re not sure why he was in this neighborhood. We’re not sure what his ties are or what motivated him.”

Police held a press conference Tuesday night, which starts at around the 1.45-minute mark in the video below.

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