TAMPA, FL — 24-year-old Howell Emanuel Donaldson III was arrested Tuesday afternoon for four counts of murder after a shooting spree that spanned two months in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa.
Police were baffled with a shooter on their hands who would target pedestrians who were alone at night doing mundane tasks such as waiting for the bus or crossing the road. None of the victims were robbed and all shootings occurred within a half-mile area.
The community became worried and avoided going outside after dark while the police grew frustrated as they still sought their killer.
Finally, police finally received the break they were waiting for.
A McDonald's manager called 911 to report a handgun contained in a bag at the restaurant near where the shootings occurred. When police arrived, they determined that it could very well belong to the shooter as it was the same type of gun they were looking for.
The owner of the gun, Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, was actually a McDonald's employee at the restaurant. Once he confessed to owning the gun, police arrested and questioned him at the station.
Donaldson claimed no one else had control of the gun in the time he had it, which includes the times of the shootings, but he denied killing anyone.
Subsequent ballistic tests on the pistol proved that the gun was indeed the murder weapon.
When police searched Donaldson's car, they discovered clothing that matched the clothing of the shooter on surveillance video.
The victims ranged from age 20 to 60 including a college student, a waitress, an autistic man and a construction worker.
A motive is currently unclear.