Suspected Tampa serial killer purchased gun 6 days before the 1st murder, police say

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The 24-year-old man charged in the serial killings of four people in the same Tampa neighborhood allegedly bought the firearm used in the shootings just six days before the first murder occurred, police said.
Tampa police arrested Howell Donaldson III, a former college basketball player native to the area, late Tuesday night in connection with the murders, which occurred between Oct. 9 and Nov. 14 in the Seminole Heights neighborhood. When Donaldson went to pick up the gun on Oct. 7, two days before 22-year-old Benjamin Mitchell was shot and killed, he also took home a 20-round box of SIG brand Smith and Wesson ammunition Oct. 7, police said.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives discovered cartridge casings at all four crime scenes that matched the .40-caliber Glock firearm possessed by the suspect, according to police.
Police also said that call detail records for Donaldson's cellphone were geographically associated with a cell tower near the locations of the first three slayings, which occurred between Oct. 9 and Oct. 19. 
 PHOTO: Tampa police are optimistic that a tip that led them to a McDonalds to investigate a person with a gun is connected to the recent string of murders in the citys Seminole Heights neighborhood.
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