Late Tuesday night, an arrest was made in connection with the serial killings that have left Tampa in fear for the past 51 days. Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, 24, was arrested and will face four counts of first-degree murder, Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said during a press conference.
"The real goal is to let the people of Seminole Heights be able to get a good night's sleep," Dugan said. "It's been 51 days that they've been terrorized in their neighborhood and it is about letting these families know that we're going to bring this person to justice and letting this neighborhood get some rest."
Four people were shot in death, at random, in Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighborhood starting in early October. Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was shot around 9 PM on October 9 while waiting at a bus stop, CNN reported. Two days after Mitchell died, Monica Caridad Hoffa, 32, was fatally shot 10 blocks away. On October 19, Anthony Taino Naiboa, 20, was shot after taking the wrong bus, reportedly just 100 yards away from where Mitchell died. Sixty-year-old Ronald Felton was shot in the back on November 19 blocks away from where the other victims died.
As a result, the neighborhood became consumed with fear, and some people even stopped jogging and walking their dogs, CNN reported. Police reportedly received more than 5,000 tips about the murders.
One tip, in particular, led to the arrest of the suspect.
On Tuesday at 2:40 PM, a McDonald's employee approached a police officer who was doing paperwork inside the restaurant and notified him about Donaldson, who reportedly had a gun in a bag. The Tampa Bay Times reported that Donaldson asked a manager to hold on to his loaded 9mm handgun for him. According to CNN, Dugan isn't sure whether Donaldson worked at the McDonald's.
[Photo: Tampa Police Department]