A former St. John’s University basketball player was taken into custody Tuesday (Nov. 28) in connection with four murders in Tampa, FL. Howell Donaldson III was arrested on four counts of premeditated murder.
“He admitted that he owned the gun but he did not admit to the murders,” Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said during a press conference.
The 24-year-old’s arrest happened after authorities said he handed a bag with a loaded 9mm handgun to a fellow McDonald’s employee before going to a nearby check cashing place. Upon returning, Donaldson was swarmed by local authorities.
Dugan said while Donaldson was polite, he was tight lipped about the details surrounding the killing spree that took place between Oct. 9 and Nov. 14. A search of Donaldson’s vehicle turned up the hoodie worn by the murderer, which was caught on surveillance. As of now, there is no known motive behind the random killings.
According to The New York Daily News, the first victim was 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell who was gunned down while waiting at the bus stop. After Mitchell’s murder, was Monica Hoffa. The 32-year-old waitress’ body was found four days later in a vacant parking lot. Following Hoff’s death authorities say a 20-year-old autistic man Anthony Naiboa was killed after getting on the wrong bus and ended up in Seminole Heights. The last person killed was a 60-year-old construction named Ronald Felton on Nov. 14.
Tampa police are certain Donaldson is the man behind all the killing. “I assure you,” Dugan added, “this is the man who did this.”