5 things we know about the Tampa serial killer suspect

Howell E. Donaldson III
Howell E. Donaldson III

Howell E. Donaldson III, a 24-year-old Tampa resident, has been arrested and charged with four murders in the Seminole Heights area of Tampa.

Here’s what we know about him so far:

▪ Tampa police say Donaldson worked at the McDonald’s restaurant at 2101 E. 13th Ave., just off an Interstate 4 exit for Ybor City.

▪ Police say at 2:40 p.m. Tuesday, another McDonald’s employee told an officer that Donaldson had brought a gun in a bag to the restaurant. Tampa police took Donaldson into custody for questioning when he returned to the McDonald’s, and the investigation accelerated from there. The Tampa Bay Times reported the officer contacted was sitting in the McDonald’s doing her paperwork.

▪ A records search shows his prior criminal record: traffic tickets, three of which were in 2010, when Donaldson was 17. Those were for a learner’s permit violation, a safety belt violation and speeding. He got a careless driving ticket at 19.

▪ His parents, Howell E. Donaldson Jr. and Rosita Donaldson, own a cosmetology school and run a nonprofit that helps give job and financial life skills education to the homeless and low-income families.

▪ He is charged with the murders of Benjamin Mitchell, 22, on Oct. 9; Monica Hoffa, 32, Oct. 11; Anthony Naiboa, 20, Oct. 19; Ronald Felton, 60, Nov. 14.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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