Police in Tampa, Florida have arrested and charged a McDonald’s employee with murder after bringing him in for questioning following the seizure of a gun believed to have possibly been used in connection with the fatal shooting of four people over the past month in Seminole Heights. Although the man, 24-year-old Howell Donaldson, was not said to have been officially placed under arrest at the time he was brought in, he has since been accused of first-degree murder in the deaths of Ronald Felton and three others.
According to CNN, police received a tip regarding a man in possession of a gun, with there being little more information at the time. The police chief himself admits that law enforcement officials were not at first certain whether the firearm was indeed the one used to kill the aforementioned four Tampa individuals, but thought it would be best to take all avenues in making sure it could be ruled out. Brian Dugan says that although the person in question could have turned out to be “completely innocent,” he was “optimistic” regarding the outcome.
NBC News reveals that Tampa residents were concerned the murders could have been the work of a serial killer, given that they all occurred within such a short time-frame. Authorities, however, denied giving the culprit such a label as they did not want to sensationalize the crimes. Although he would not further elaborate on this, the police chief says that he believes the killings “[have] to do with Seminole Heights”.
Two videos were released in the past month concerning potential suspects; two weeks ago, a clip was released by Dugan himself showing a man donning a jacket with a hood, walking down a street located nearby one of the shootings. At the end of last month, a similar video was put out to the Tampa public, who were warned to stay inside if at all possible and keep their porch lights on. Each four of the deceased are said to come from different backgrounds and therefore not deemed to be connected in any way, resulting in this investigation having become increasingly more puzzling for authorities as time went on.