A suspected serial killer in Tampa, Florida has finally been caught, but only after he shot and killed four people between Oct. 9 and Nov. 14 in Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighborhood, the New York Daily News reports.
Howell "Trai" Donaldson III, 24, attended St. John’s University and was a walk-on for the university’s basketball team in 2011-12, but he never actually played a game. Donaldson graduated from St. John’s in January with a degree in sports management.
According to the a LinkedIn page the Daily News reports belongs to Donaldson, he spent some time in New York City working as a “guest experience host” for the Mets around 2016 and was arrested at least once during his time in the city, in 2014. The case, however, remains sealed.
Donaldson worked at a McDonald’s as a crew leader near the neighborhood from which his alleged four victims came. He was caught when he attempted to get a payday loan and handed his manager a bag with a handgun inside. The manager noticed the gun—a .40 Smith and Wesson—and alerted a nearby police officer who eventually arrested Donaldson. He has been charged with four counts of premeditated murder.
“We got a break. Somebody stepped up and did the right thing,” Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said. “There’s a lot to go through, a lot to sift through and it’s going to take many things to fall in line.” Even though Dugan claims he is “optimistic” Donaldson is the suspect they were looking for, he also revealed that the police department received more than 5,000 tips during their investigation.
Donaldson’s alleged victims include Benjamin Mitchel, 22, who on Oct. 9 was the first to be killed, followed by Monica Hoffa, 32, murdered Oct. 11. Anthony Naiboa, 20, died on Oct. 19 and 60-year-old Ronald Felton was shot on Nov. 15. Tampa police released a surveillance video of Felton’s killer walking around before the murder.