Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan says he is “100%” confident they have arrested the man who committed four murders in the Southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood over the past two months. Dugan says the major break in the case came when Howell Emanuel Donaldson III handed a bag to one of his managers at a McDonald’s restaurant in Ybor City on Tuesday.
Dugan spoke at a press conference Wednesday morning at the Seminole Heights Garden Center. Dugan says the state attorney has not decided whether to seek the death penalty. For his part, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn says that the judicial process should take its course, but that if Donaldson is found guilty, “he should die.”
Dugan says the suspect, Donaldson, admitted he owned the gun, which he bought a few days before the first murder, but did not give much other information.
Donaldson has been charged with four counts of first degree murder.
Dugan says he did not think Donaldson was trying to get caught or turn himself in by giving the bag with the gun to his McDonald’s coworker. Dugan says Donaldson’s mental state “seemed fine.”
The arrest report provided by Tampa Police says the “F.D.L.E. and A.T.F. analysis of the fired cartridge casings, which were recovered from all four [crime] scenes, identified the casings as being fired in the same firearm … a Glock .40 caliber handgun.”
The arrest report says Donaldson let the police search his phone and it indicated that his phone location data “correspond with the dates and times of the first three murders.”
According to the arrest report, during a search of his car that Donaldson consented to, police found “a suspected blood stain on an area of the clothing” similar to the clothing the suspect is seen wearing in surveillance video before and after the first murder.
Listen to the full press conference here:
Facebook live video of press conference, which starts around seven-minute mark:
Here are the first two pages of the arrest report:
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office booking video of Donaldson:
Here’s another video of the press conference: