The person responsible for the murders of four people throughout the last few months in Tampa, Florida has been arrested. Earlier this week 24-year-old Howell Donaldson III was arrested and officially charged with murder.
As reported by CNN, Tampa Police Chief stated that during lengthy police interviews, Howell Donaldson III seemed “perfectly fine” and didn’t give off a suspicious vibe. Dugan continued his initial take on Donaldson, stating “He seemed fine to me, which is a strange answer for me to give, because why is he out murdering people?” Dugan said. “He seemed like he knew exactly what he was doing and what was going on. He was very much aware of where he was and what he was doing.”
Howell Donaldson III, 24, was arrested and charged with four counts of murder on Wednesday in connection with a series of seemingly random killings that had terrorized neighborhood residents over the past 51 days. Donaldson owned the firearm that police say was used in the four killings, and officials are confident they have their man.
But the arrest and police interview have shed little light on the motives for the killings, and police did not provide an explanation for how a quiet college graduate with no criminal record turned into a serial killer. “He was friendly and nice to the cops, but he didn’t give us anything. He didn’t tell us why he was doing it, or anything like that,” [Tampa Police Chief Richard] Dugan said.
Officials had refrained from calling the suspect a serial killer for weeks, saying they did not yet have enough evidence to use the phrase. But after his arrest Wednesday, officials said the term was now appropriate. “I think that’s safe to say now,” Dugan said. “He’s killed four people.”
Described as “quiet and polite,” the St. John’s University graduate and current McDonald’s employee Donaldson, was arrested after police received a tip regarding his firearm.
Donaldson reportedly gave his manager a McDonald’s food bag with a firearm and ammunition in it for safe keeping, and then left, according to police. Later that afternoon, the manager gave the weapon to a police officer who was in the restaurant, who then called for backup.
Donaldson is expected to make his first court appearance later this week. He has not retained an attorney and will likely be appointed one at his court appearance.
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