McDonald's Worker Questioned in Florida Serial Killer Case

Police chief is 'optimistic' about possible break
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2017 6:12 PM CST
Updated Nov 28, 2017 6:33 PM CST
Cops 'Optimistic' About Break in Florida Serial Killer Case
A makeshift memorial for shooting victim Anthony Naiboa sits on a sidewalk in the Seminole Heights section of Tampa, Fla., Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017. Similar murders have occurred in the neighborhood in the span of two weeks leading fears of a possible serial killer.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Police in Florida may have just caught an enormous break in the hunt for a serial killer in the Seminole Heights neighborhood. A McDonald's employee is currently being questioned, and while cops stressed that no arrests have been made, they also sounded hopeful that they were close to catching the killer who has fatally shot four people over the last two months. “I’m optimistic about this one," said Tampa police chief Brian Dugan, per WFTV. But, he added, “We have to be very careful what we release because this person might be completely innocent.” The development began when an unidentified employee of a McDonald's in Ybor City handed a manager a loaded handgun and asked him to hold it while the employee went out to get a payday loan, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

The manager talked the situation over with another employee, then decided to inform a police officer who just happened to be in the restaurant doing paperwork. The officer called for backup, and police were waiting for the employee when he returned. They took him in for questioning, and soon enough, the police chief called a news conference to talk about the possible break in the case. Police blocked off the employee's red Mustang in the restaurant's parking lot, and the Tampa Bay Times reports that two people have been issued tickets in regard to the car: Howell E. Donaldson, 52, and Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, 24. Another McDonald's employee said the person taken in for questioning was in his 20s and had been driving his father's car. One sign of how the killings have shaken the neighborhood: a push to light up the night with Christmas lights, per Fox 13. (Read more Florida stories.)

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