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Howell Emanuel Donaldson was arrested after he brought a loaded gun to his job at a McDonald's and asked a co-worker to hold it, authorities said.

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"We would not be here today with this killer in custody were it not for the courage of one individual", Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said. The family does not know any of the victims personally, she said.

To his parents, Howell "Trai" Donaldson III, was their 24-year-old son who had a host of friends.

Rosita told the assembled reporters: 'I felt devastation for the families when it first started, and I prayed for those families when it first started and then, when they arrested my son I felt devastation because I love my son'. Dugan said the department had received "over 5,000 tips" since the murders began 51 days ago. "And we question why".

The police affidavit - filled with detail police are using to link Donaldson to the murders - shows a Smith and Wesson.40-caliber handgun was taken from him; the same ammunition was found at each of the murder scenes.

The parents of the alleged serial killer who shot dead four people in Tampa, Florida have spoken out to say that they do not understand why their son has been accused. "It's been hard for everyone as my wife said not only for us but for victims in this case".

The parents of suspected Tampa serial killer Howard Donaldson III, Rosita Donaldson and Emanuel Donaldson, Jr., said they were "devastated" at the news of their son's arrest.

That's when Walker knew something wasn't right and reached out to the police officer, police said.

"We're going to lean on our faith as we go through this ordeal and we're going to allow God to be God", Trai's father added.

When Donaldson came back, officers were waiting to arrest him. He's being held at the Hillsborough County Jail on no bond.

The arrest brought enormous relief to an anxious neighborhood that had stopped many outdoor activities since the first shooting death on October 9.

Two days after Mitchell was shot, Monica Hoffa, 32, was gunned down.

On Oct. 19, 20-year-old Anthony Naiboa, who had autism, was shot and killed just 50 feet away from where Mitchell had been slain. The fourth and final killing, of a 60-year-old man, occurred on November 14.

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