Howell Trai Donaldson, Tampa Murder Suspect Arrested

 In Domestic

Tampa Police have arrested the suspect they say killed 4 people in cold blood in the Seminole Heights Neighborhood of Tampa Bay, Florida. Over the course of 51 days, Howell Trai Donaldson III is accused of terrorizing the neighborhood, killing people seemingly at random.

Tamps victims left to right: Benjamin Mitchell, Anthony Naiboa, Monica Hoffa, Ronald Felton

Police were tipped off to Donaldson when he asked a coworker at the McDonalds in Ybor City to hold a bag for him while he went “to get a payday loan.” The bag contained a loaded 9mm, so the coworker notified the manager. The manager notified a police officer who was doing paperwork at the restaurant, and he radioed for backup. They were waiting for Donaldson when he returned.

Donaldson was taken into custody just before 5 p.m. on November 28.

He drove to the McDonalds in his father’s red mustang, seen in this screenshot as being taped off by police. Police were seen removing a suitcase from the vehicle.

Donaldson admitted to owning the gun, but refused to tell police why he  committed the murders. An examination of his cell phone revealed location data that matched the first three murders – Oct. 9, Oct. 11 and Oct. 19.

“He was pretty non-responsive; wasn’t angry. It was a very subdued, strange behavior in my opinion. But whoever does something like this, Lord knows what’s driving them.” Police Chief Brian Dugan to ABC’s Good Morning America

Police found clothing inside the car that is similar to that worn by the suspect in the surveillance videos.

Howell “Trai” Emanuel Donaldson III, 24, will be charged with 4 counts of First Degree Murder. He asked for an attorney. Trai is a nickname he uses because he is a “third.”

Seminole Heights has been on edge for 51 days. It became so worrisome to residents that police officers began escorting trick or treaters on Halloween.

Donaldson is a graduate of St John’s University in New York where he majored in computer science with a minor in sports management. According to, Donaldson formerly worked for the New York Mets, Adidas and the NBA.



Seminole Heights, Tampa, FL – Possible Serial Killer at Large

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