Police in Tampa, Fla., say they have arrested the man they believe is responsible for a string of killings in the Seminole Heights area, thanks to a tip received by a police officer doing paperwork at a local McDonald’s.
A customer apparently tipped off the officer that a man at the fast-food restaurant had a gun.
As The Tampa Bay Times reports: “The investigation raced from there. A 24-year-old man was taken in for questioning. Crime tape went up. Officers descended on the Ybor City fast food joint, then a family home in Sulphur Springs. Television cameras stood watch. So did residents, wondering what it all meant. Anxious relatives of the victims waited for the news: Was an arrest finally at hand?”
The suspect, identified as Howell Emanuel Donaldson, will be charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the series of fatal shootings, said Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan.
The Associated Press reports: “Residents and police had been on edge since Oct. 9, when 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell was shot to death. Two days later, 32-year-old Monica Hoffa, was slain. And on Oct. 19, Anthony Naiboa, 20, was killed after taking the wrong bus home from his new job. On Nov. 14, 60-year-old Ronald Felton was killed.”
Earlier, Dugan had cautioned the public that the tip was just one among some 5,000 leads the department had gotten – most, dead ends.
The Times says: “Later, he admitted sensing that this time would be different. ‘It just felt right,’ Dugan said at the Tuesday night news conference. ‘I kind of had a feeling that we were going to get a break.'”