Former St. John’s walk-on arrested in Tampa serial killings

Hillsborough County Sheriff

A 24-year old former walk-on for St. John’s was arrested on Tuesday evening in connection with a string of killings that has terrorized a Tampa neighborhood for the past two months.

Howell ‘Trai’ Donaldson III was taken into custody at the McDonalds where he worked after a tip about a gun from his manager. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Donaldson walked into the fast-food restaurant and asked the manager to hold a McDonald’s bag that had a loaded gun in it. When he left, the manager alerted a police officer that happened to be in the McDonald’s doing paper work. The officer called for back-up, who was waiting when Donaldson returned.

Donaldson is suspected of killing four people at random in Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighborhood since October 9th. The first three were killed in a 10-day period ending on October 19th, and a fourth man was shot and killed on November 14th. All four were walking alone in the neighborhood, were not robbed and were seemingly killed at random, leading police to believe that it was the work of a serial killer.

Donaldson was a member of the St. John’s basketball team during the 2011-12 season. He was a walk-on and did not play in any games, a school spokesman told NBC Sports. That season, St. John’s began the year with just seven scholarship players as three of Steve Lavin’s recruits were initially deemed ineligible. The team held open tryouts looking for walk-ons to fill out the roster.

He graduated from the university in January of this year.