Tags: tampa | serial killer | motive | suspect | st. Johns grad

Tampa Serial Killer Motive Unknown; Suspect Is Recent NY St. John's University Grad

Image: Tampa Serial Killer Motive Unknown; Suspect Is Recent NY St. John's University Grad

Howell Emanuel Donaldson, inset, under arrest. (Tampa Police Department)

By    |   Thursday, 30 November 2017 11:24 AM

Tampa’s serial killer suspect, a January graduate of New York's St. John's University, didn’t reveal a motive for his alleged connection to killing spree that left four people dead, police said, and many of his friends were stunned by his arrest, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, 24, had no criminal record when he was arrested by police on Wednesday and charged with four counts of murder, CNN reported.

After graduating from college, Donaldson returned to his hometown of Tampa where he worked at a McDonald's restaurant in the Ybor City neighborhood, the Times said. Police alleged he left a gun there that was used in the killing.

Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan told CNN on Wednesday that Donaldson's congenial manner didn’t change during interviews with police and he didn’t implicate himself in the shootings.

"He was friendly and nice to the cops, but he didn't give us anything," Dugan said, per CNN. "He didn't tell us why he was doing it, or anything like that."

Police said Donaldson gave the manager of the McDonalds a firearm with bullets, inside a food bag, and told a coworker that he planned on leaving the state, CNN reported. The manager gave the gun to police.

Police said Donaldson legally purchased the gun Oct. 3 and picked it up four days later after the mandatory waiting period, CNN said. The first of four shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood happened Oct. 9 when Benjamin Mitchell was shot and killed.

Authorities said cellphone information connected Donaldson on the same dates and times to an address in the neighborhood where the first three murders took place, according to a criminal affidavit, per CNN.

"We've had other guns, but we knew this was the one," Dugan said on Wednesday morning, per CNN. "Now the work begins to shore up the case and get a full prosecution."

Brian Brown, executive director of university relations at St. John's, told CNN that Donaldson was a walk-on for the men's basketball team during the 2011-2012 season but never played in a game.

"My mom always commended him for his manners and likability, and she still says he was the most likable kid that you could possibly ask for," Tyler Gimbert told the Times. "(She) started to tear up on the phone when I told her. My dad too. It just doesn't make sense."

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Tampa’s serial killer suspect, a January graduate of New York's St. John's University, didn’t reveal a motive for his alleged connection to killing spree that left four people dead, police said, and many of his friends were stunned by his arrest.
tampa, serial killer, motive, suspect, st. Johns grad
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2017-24-30
Thursday, 30 November 2017 11:24 AM
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