TAMPA, Fla. (AP/WSVN) — Police arrested a man late Tuesday and said they will charge him with murder in a string of killings that have terrorized a neighborhood of Tampa.
Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan announced at a news conference that Howell Emanuel Donaldson, 24, would be charged with four counts of first degree murder.
Police detained Donaldson earlier Tuesday after a tip that he had a gun at a McDonald’s restaurant. According to Fox 13, an officer was approached by Donaldson’s coworker about a gun in the workplace.
The arrest affidavit states Donaldson handed his coworker a McDonald’s food bag with a loaded .40 caliber Glock inside. Donaldson said he wanted to leave the state, as well.
Authorities learned that the firearm was legally purchased and was picked up on Oct. 7 once the mandatory waiting period ended.
Donaldson allowed officers to search his vehicle and cell phone, Fox 13 also reports. By using location data, his phone pinged a nearby cell phone tower at a time that corresponds with the first three murders.
Residents and police had been on edge since Oct. 9, when 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell was shot to death. Two days later, 32-year-old Monica Hoffa, was slain.
And on Oct. 19, Anthony Naiboa, 20, was killed after taking the wrong bus home from his new job. On Nov. 14, 60-year-old Ronald Felton was killed.
All of the October victims were either getting on or off a city bus, or were at a bus stop when they were shot, police said.
Dugan said the department had received more than 5,000 tips. He thanked those who called in the tip that led to Donaldson’s arrest. No further information was provided about Donaldson.
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