howell donaldson iii
Howell Donaldson III, the man charged with murdering four people in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa, Florida, was teased by his McDonald's coworkers for his resemblance to a figure in a video police released showing the murder suspect. Tampa Police Department

The McDonald’s co-workers of the suspected Seminole Heights serial killer teased him about looking like the murderer before he was caught by authorities, the Tampa Bay Times reported Thursday.

Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, the man charged with murdering four people in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa, Florida came into the Ybor City McDonald’s and handed a gun to his coworker Tuesday. Donaldson, 24, said he would text her what to do with it. His fellow employee looked inside the bag Donaldson gave her, saw a gun and approached a police officer sitting in the restaurant. Donaldson was arrested and charged with four counts of first-degree murder. Police later discovered he used the same gun for all of them.

“We would tease him and say he was the killer because he looked like the pictures,” Gail Rogers, one of Donaldson’s McDonald’s coworkers, said to the Tampa Bay Times. “I called him the killer to his face. He didn't’ like that.”

The employees of the Ybor City McDonald’s jokingly referenced Donaldson’s resemblance to a figure in a surveillance video police released following three of the killings. The first Seminole Heights murder occurred Oct. 9. The second shooting happened Oct. 11 and the third one followed Oct. 19. The last killing took place Nov. 14. These murders resulted in the cancellation of outdoor activities and police escorted children as they trick or treated on Halloween.

The four victims of the shootings were identified, in order of their deaths, as Benjamin Mitchell, 22; Monica Hoffa, 32; Anthony Naiboa, 20 and Ronald Felton, 60.

Donaldson, a college graduate, attended St. John’s University in Queens on a basketball scholarship. He graduated in January.

Tampa Police previously said the shootings were related because of the similar locations, theorizing a serial killer was behind them. According to Tampa Police chief Brian Dugan, the department received more than 5,000 tips regarding the events. He thanked those who provided information that led to Donaldson’s capture and arrest.